H. B. 4541
(By Delegates Perdue, Moore, Marshall,
Barill and Hatfield)
[Introduced February 15, 2012; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §16-9A-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to banning of flavored tobacco products; and proving criminal penalty.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §16-9A-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9A. TOBACCO USAGE RESTRICTIONS.
§16-9A-9. Selling of bidis and flavored tobacco products prohibited; penalties.
(a) The Legislature finds that young people in this state have been enticed into smoking or using tobacco products by first using or experimenting with hand-rolled, flavored tobacco products called “bidis” or “beedies.” In addition, regular tobacco products that are flavored are also used to entice minors. Recognizing that the use of bidis and flavored tobacco products is an emerging public health problem, the Legislature hereby adopts a public policy that the tobacco products known as “bidis” and other flavored tobacco products should not be imported, sold or distributed in the State of West Virginia.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person or business entity shall may possess, import, sell, offer for sale or distribute any tobacco product commonly referred to as “bidis” or “beedies” or other flavored tobacco products as defined in this section.
(c)(1) For purposes of this section, “bidis” or “beedies” means a product containing tobacco that is wrapped in temburni leaf or leaves (diospyros melanoxylon) or tendu leaf or leaves (diospyros exculpra), or any other product or substance that is offered to or purchased by consumers as bidis or beedies. As used in this section, the terms “bidis” and “beedies” have the same meaning and may be used interchangeably.
(2) For purposes of this section, “flavored tobacco products” means tobacco products that have added flavoring including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, Hookah tobacco, little cigars and dissolvable tobacco products. Menthol and mint flavors are not included in the definition of “flavored tobacco products.”
(d) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500; and upon a second or subsequent conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 for each offense, or confined in a county or regional jail not more than six months, or both.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.