North Dakota Century Code Title 12.1. Criminal Code § 12.1-31-03. Sale of tobacco, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products to minors and use by minors prohibited

1. a. It is an infraction for any person to sell or furnish to a minor, or procure for a minor, cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, snuff, tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products.  As used in this subdivision, “sell” includes dispensing from a vending machine under the control of the actor.

b. It is an infraction for any person to display or offer for sale cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, snuff, tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products through a self-service display.  This subdivision does not apply to a:

(1) Vending machine or other coin-operated machine that is permitted under section 12.1-31-03.1 ;  or

(2) Self-service display that is located in a tobacco specialty store.

2. It is a noncriminal offense for a minor to purchase, possess, smoke, or use cigarettes, cigars, cigarette papers, snuff, tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products.  However, an individual under eighteen years of age may purchase and possess tobacco, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products as part of a compliance survey program when acting with the permission of the individual's parent or guardian and while acting under the supervision of any law enforcement authority.  A state agency, city, county, board of health, tobacco, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products retailer, or association of tobacco, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products retailers may also conduct compliance surveys, after coordination with the appropriate local law enforcement authority.

3. It is a noncriminal offense for a minor to present or offer to another individual a purported proof of age which is false, fraudulent, or not actually the minor's own proof of age, for the purpose of attempting to purchase or possess cigarettes, cigars, cigarette papers, snuff, tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products.

4. A city or county may adopt an ordinance or resolution regarding the sale of tobacco, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products to minors and use of tobacco, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products by minors which includes prohibitions in addition to those in subsection 1, 2, or 3.  Any ordinance or resolution adopted must include provisions deeming a violation of subsection 2 or 3 a noncriminal violation and must provide for a fee of not less than twenty-five dollars for a minor fourteen years of age or older who has been charged with an offense under subsection 2 or 3.  The failure to post a required bond or pay an assessed fee by an individual found to have violated the ordinance or resolution is punishable as a contempt of court, except a minor may not be imprisoned for the contempt.

5. A minor fourteen years of age or older found to have violated subsection 2 or 3 must pay a fee of twenty-five dollars.

a. Any individual who has been cited for a violation of subsection 2 or 3 may appear before a court of competent jurisdiction and pay the fee by the time scheduled for a hearing, or if bond has been posted, may forfeit the bond by not appearing at the scheduled time.  An individual appearing at the time scheduled in the citation may make a statement in explanation of that individual's action and the judge may waive, reduce, or suspend the fee or bond, or both.  If the individual cited follows the procedures of this subdivision, that individual has admitted the violation and has waived the right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the violation.  The bond required to secure appearance before the court must be identical to the fee.  This subdivision does not allow a citing officer to receive the fee or bond.

b. If an individual cited for a violation of subsection 2 or 3 does not choose to follow the procedures provided under subdivision a, that individual may request a hearing on the issue of the commission of the violation cited.  The hearing must be held at the time scheduled in the citation or at some future time, not to exceed ninety days later, set at that first appearance.  At the time of a request for a hearing on the issue on commission of the violation, the individual cited shall deposit with the court an appearance bond equal to the fee for the violation cited.

c. The failure to post bond or to pay an assessed fee is punishable as a contempt of court, except a minor may not be imprisoned for the contempt.

6. The prosecution must prove the commission of a cited violation under subsection 2 or 3 by a preponderance of the evidence.

7. A law enforcement officer that cites a minor for violation of this section shall mail a notice of the violation to the parent or legal guardian of the minor within ten days of the citation.

8. A person adjudged guilty of contempt for failure to pay a fee or fine may be sentenced by the court to a sanction or order designed to ensure compliance with the payment of the fee or fine or to an alternative sentence or sanction including community service.

9. As used in this section:

a. “Alternative nicotine product” means any noncombustible product containing nicotine that is intended for human consumption, whether chewed, absorbed, dissolved, or ingested by any other means.  The term does not include any cigarette, cigar, snuff, tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing, any electronic smoking device, or any product regulated as a drug or device by the United States food and drug administration under chapter V of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [ 21 U.S.C 501 et seq. ]

b. “Electronic smoking device” means any electronic product that delivers nicotine or other substances to the individual inhaling from the device, including, an electronic cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, vape pen, or e-hookah.  Electronic smoking device includes any component, part, or accessory of such a product, whether or not sold separately.  Electronic smoking device does not include drugs, devices, or combination products approved for sale by the United States food and drug administration, as those terms are defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act [52 Stat. 1040;   21 U.S.C. 301 et seq. ].

c. “Self-service display” means a display that contains cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, snuff, tobacco in any other form which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products and is located in an area that is openly accessible to the retailer's customers, and from which customers can readily access those products without the assistance of a salesperson.  A display case that holds those products behind locked doors does not constitute a self-service display.

d. “Tobacco specialty store” means a retail store that:

(1) Derives at least seventy-five percent of its revenue from the sale of cigarettes, cigarette papers, cigars, snuff, tobacco in any other form in which it may be utilized for smoking or chewing, electronic smoking devices, or alternative nicotine products;  and

(2) Does not permit minors to enter the premises unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

e. “Vending machine” means a machine, appliance, or other mechanical device operated by currency, token, debit card, credit card, or other means of payment that is designed or used for vending purposes, including machines or devices that use remote control locking mechanisms.


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