[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Little Egg Harbor; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Extensive medical and scientific evidence reveals and the Surgeon General of the United States has determined that the use of tobacco is harmful to a person's health, such that it can lead to severe medical conditions. The American Cancer Society has cited that approximately 90% of today's regular smokers started before reaching adulthood. Statistics such as this have lead the FDA to classify nicotine addiction as a pediatric disease.
Therefore, the Township of Little Egg Harbor finds it necessary to limit the accessibility of cigarettes and other tobacco products to minors and to regulate the means by which tobacco products are sold in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of its residents.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- HEALTH OFFICER
- The administrative officer of the Township of Little Egg Harbor Board of Health and/or his or her authorized representative.
- LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- Any member of the Township of Little Egg Harbor Police Department.
- An individual, partnership, cooperative, association, corporation, personal representative, receiver, trustee, assignee, or any other legal entity.
- SELF-SERVICE DISPLAYS
- A display or display shelves designed for the customer to serve oneself without the aid of a sales clerk and where the customer is required to pay the cashier upon leaving.
- Any product made from the tobacco plant for the purpose of smoking, chewing, inhaling and other personal use, including cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, snuff and cigarettes in any form.
- TOBACCO RETAILER
- Any person or entity that operates a store, stand, booth, concession, or place at which sales of tobacco are made to purchasers for consumption or use, and shall mean a person or entity that owns or operates a vending machine.
- VENDING MACHINE
- Any automated, self-service device which, upon insertion of money, tokens or any other form of payments, dispenses cigarettes or other tobacco products.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 2A:170-51.1 et seq., it shall be unlawful for any person to sell, give, or permit to be sold, given or furnished to an individual under the age of 19, tobacco in any form.
A sign, not less than six inches by eight inches, shall be posted in a conspicuous place near each cash register in all retail establishments which sell tobacco products containing the following language:
It shall be unlawful for a tobacco retailer to sell or permit to be sold tobacco to any individual without requesting and examining identification from the purchaser, positively establishing purchaser's age as 19 years or greater, unless the seller has some other conclusive basis for determining the purchaser is over the age of 19 years of age.
Sale of tobacco products through vending machines shall be prohibited.
Self-service displays of tobacco products, from which individual packages or individual cigarettes may be selected by the customer, are prohibited.
The Township of Little Egg Harbor Health Officer and/or his or her designee, and/or a Township of Little Egg Harbor law enforcement officer, shall be responsible for the enforcement of this chapter.
No person, either directly or indirectly by an agent or employee, or by a vending machine owned by the person or located in the person's establishment, shall sell, offer for sale, distribute for commercial purpose at no cost or minimal cost or with coupons or rebate offers, give or furnish, to a person under 19 years of age any cigarettes made of tobacco or of any other matter or substance which can be smoked, or any cigarette paper or tobacco in any form, including smokeless tobacco. A violation of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of not less than $250 for the first violation, not less than $500 for the second violation, and $1,000 for the third and each subsequent violation in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A: 170-51.4(c); and the Township may recommend license revocation in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2A:170-51.4(d).
Whenever the Health Officer, his or her designee, Code Enforcement Officer, or a law enforcement officer reasonably believes there exists a violation of this chapter, such individual may, by written notification not later than 60 days after discovery of the alleged violation, advise the tobacco retailer of the nature of the violation and that any subsequent failure or refusal to comply with this chapter shall be subject to the penalties set forth in this chapter.
The Health Officer, his or her designee, Code Enforcement Officer, or a law enforcement officer, after giving proper identification, may inspect any matter, thing, premises or place as may be necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person to oppose or otherwise obstruct a Health Officer or his or her designee or the Code Enforcement Officer. Such individual may request the assistance of a law enforcement officer when necessary to execute his or her official duty in a manner prescribed by law.
Except as provided in Subsection A above, any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000, by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or by community service of not more than 90 days, or any combination of fine, imprisonment, and community service, as determined in the discretion of the Municipal Court Judge. The continuation of such violation for each successive day shall constitute a separate offense and the person or persons allowing or permitting the continuation of the violation may be punished as provided above, for each separate offense.
The violation of any provision of this chapter shall be subject to abatement summarily by a restraining order or injunction issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.