Selling Cigarettes to Minors

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Can a Vendor Ever Legally Sell Cigarettes to Minors?

Under no circumstance is it ever legal to sell cigarettes to a minor. Claiming that the minor looked "over 18" is never a defense. A vendor should aways ask for I.D. from everyone, particularly individuals that appear to be close to or under 18. A vendor always has the right not to sell to anyone, and you should choose not to do so if adequate identification cannot be shown.

What Are the Penalties for Selling Cigarettes to Minors?

Selling cigarettes to minors is a criminal offense, usually a misdemeanor. Penalties include:

Can I Be Charged If a Minor Asks Me to Buy Cigarettes for Them?

Yes. Not only can vendors never sell cigarettes to minors, but under no circumstance should someone buy cigarettes for minors. Those who do can be fined, or even charged with a crime such as contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Should I Contact a Lawyer If I Am Accused of Selling Cigarettes to a Minor?

Selling cigarettes to a minor is generally a small offense. However, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer if your tobacco license is going to be revoked or you think you were charged unfairly. Furthermore, if your job involves working with children or you will be subject to background checks, this otherwise small offense may pose big obstacles. In such cases, you should consider talking to an attorney to learn more about your rights and defenses.

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Last Modified: 06-25-2014 12:26 PM PDT

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