Texas Health and Safety Code - HEALTH & SAFETY § 161.088. Enforcement;  Unannounced Inspections

(a) The comptroller shall enforce this subchapter in partnership with local law enforcement agencies and with their cooperation and shall ensure the state's compliance with Section 1926 of the federal Public Health Service Act ( 42 U.S.C. Section 300x-26 ) and any implementing regulations adopted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.  Except as expressly authorized by law, the comptroller may not adopt any rules governing the subject matter of this subchapter or Subchapter K, N, or O.  1

(b) The comptroller may make block grants to counties and municipalities to be used by local law enforcement agencies to enforce this subchapter and Subchapter R in a manner that can reasonably be expected to reduce the extent to which cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products are sold or distributed, including by delivery sale, to persons who are younger than 21 years of age.  At least annually, random unannounced inspections shall be conducted at various locations where cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products are sold or distributed, including by delivery sale, to ensure compliance with this subchapter and Subchapter R. The comptroller shall rely, to the fullest extent possible, on local law enforcement agencies to enforce this subchapter and Subchapter R.

(c) To facilitate the effective administration and enforcement of this subchapter, the comptroller may enter into interagency contracts with other state agencies, and those agencies may assist the comptroller in the administration and enforcement of this subchapter.

(d) The use of a person younger than 21 years of age to act as a minor decoy to test compliance with this subchapter and Subchapter R shall be conducted in a fashion that promotes fairness.  A person may be enlisted by the comptroller or a local law enforcement agency to act as a minor decoy only if the following requirements are met:

(1) written parental consent is obtained for the use of a person younger than 18 years of age to act as a minor decoy to test compliance with this subchapter and Subchapter R;

(2) at the time of the inspection, order, or delivery, the minor decoy is younger than 21 years of age;

(3) the minor decoy has an appearance that would cause a reasonably prudent seller of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to request identification and proof of age;

(4) the minor decoy carries either the minor's own identification showing the minor's correct date of birth or carries no identification, and a minor decoy who carries identification presents it on request to any seller of or any person who delivers cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products;  and

(5) the minor decoy answers truthfully any questions about the minor's age at the time of the inspection, order, or delivery.

(e) The comptroller shall annually prepare for submission by the governor to the secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services the report required by Section 1926 of the federal Public Health Service Act ( 42 U.S.C. Section 300x-26 ).

1 V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 161.121 et seq, V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 161.251 et seq., or V.T.C.A., Health & Safety Code § 161.301 et seq.

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