Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I-A. Prohibited Sales of Tobacco.


§ 7–1721.01. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) "Tobacco product" means any product that is made from or derived from tobacco and is intended for human consumption or is likely to be consumed, whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, or ingested by any other means, including through a cigarette, a cigar, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, smokeless tobacco, or an electronic smoking device, as that term is defined in § 7-741.01(1). The term "tobacco product" also includes any component or accessory used in the consumption of a tobacco product, such as filters, rolling papers, pipes, or liquids used in electronic smoking devices. The term "tobacco product" does not include drugs, devices, or combination products authorized for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as those terms are defined in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, approved June 25, 1938 (52 Stat. 1040; 21 U.S.C. § 301 et seq.).

(2) “Self-service display” means a display that contains tobacco products and is located in an area openly accessible to consumers, and from which consumers can readily access tobacco products without the assistance of a sales clerk. A display case that holds tobacco products behind locked doors does not constitute a self-service display.

(3) “Tobacco specialty store” means a retail store that bars entry to individuals under 21years of age and that is used primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories in which the total annual revenue generated by the sale of non-tobacco products or accessories is no greater than 25% of the total revenue of the establishment.


(Feb. 7, 1891, 26 Stat. 736, ch. 117, § 2; as added July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 3(b), 57 DCR 3019; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-191, § 2(a), 63 DCR 15003.)

Applicability

Section 7021 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the amendments of this section by D.C. Law 21-191 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-191: § 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(a) of D.C. Law 21-191 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 7–1721.02. Sale of tobacco to persons under 21 years of age.

(a) No person shall sell, give, or furnish any tobacco product to, or purchase any tobacco product on behalf of, any person under 21 years of age.

(b)(1) Any person who sells any tobacco product and who has reasonable cause to believe that a person who attempts to purchase the product is under 30 years of age shall require that the purchaser present identification that indicates his or her age.

(2) It shall be an affirmative defense to a violation of paragraph (1) of this subsection that, at the time of the relevant sale, the person who attempted to purchase the product was 21 years of age or older, or presented identification to the seller that a reasonably prudent person would believe to be valid under the same or similar circumstances.

(c) Any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $500 or less than $100, imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both, for the first offense. Any person convicted of a subsequent violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 or less than $500, imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.

(d) Any license to sell tobacco products issued pursuant to § 47-2404 may be suspended for a first or second violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section. The license shall be revoked for a third or subsequent violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section.

(e)(1) In any place or business where a person sells any tobacco product, the owner, manager, or person in charge of the place or business shall post a warning sign that includes the following: "No tobacco product will be sold to any person under 21 years of age. Sales clerks will ask for proof of age from any person seeking to purchase any tobacco product who appears to be under 30 years of age."

(2) A sign posted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection shall clearly state the maximum fine for a violation of this section. The sign shall be visible to the public at the entrance to the area and on the interior of the area in sufficient number to give notice of the law to the public.

(f) Notwithstanding section 1004 of Title 1 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (1 DCMR § 1004), the Mayor shall collect and maintain a publicly available record of violations under subsection (a) of this section, including:

(1) The date of the violation; and

(2) The location where the citation was given.


(Feb. 7, 1891, 26 Stat. 736, ch. 117; May 2, 1991, D.C. Law 8-262, § 3, 37 DCR 8434; designated as § 3, July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 3(a), (c), 57 DCR 3019; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 52(b)(1), 59 DCR 6190; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-191, § 2(b), 63 DCR 15003.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 22-1320.

1981 Ed., § 22-1120.

1973 Ed., § 22-1120.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1721.07 and § 22-1320.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-189 rewrote subsecs. (a), (b), and (e)(1); and added subsec. (f).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “ section 1004 of Title 1 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations ( 1 DCMR § 1004)” for “ section 1-1004 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations” in the introductory language of (f).

Cross References

Cigarette tax, license suspension, see § 47-2404.

Applicability

Section 7021 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the amendments of this section by D.C. Law 21-191 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-191: § 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(b) of D.C. Law 21-191 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 7–1721.03. Purchase or possession of tobacco by persons under 21 years of age; use of false identification.

(a)(1) No person under 21 years of age shall purchase any tobacco product, possess any tobacco product, or attempt to purchase or possess any tobacco product.

(2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to a person under 21 years of age who is handling or transporting tobacco products under the terms of his or her employment.

(b) No person under 21 years of age shall falsely represent his or her age, or possess or present as proof of age an identification document which is in any way fraudulent, for the purpose of purchasing, possessing, or consuming tobacco products in the District.

(c)(1) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section may be subject to a civil penalty of $25.

(2) Any person who violates subsection (b) of this section may be subject to a civil penalty for each offense of:

(A) $100 the first time the offense or offenses occurred;

(B) $200 the second time the offense or offenses occurred; and

(C) $300 the third and subsequent times the offense or offenses occurred.

(3) A violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be a civil infraction for the purposes of Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.].

(4) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2 [§ 2-501 et seq.], may issues rules to increase the amount of the fine for a violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section.


(Feb. 7, 1891, 26 Stat. 736, ch. 117, § 4; as added July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 3(d), 57 DCR 3019; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-191, § 2(c), 63 DCR 15003.)

Applicability

Section 7021 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the amendments of this section by D.C. Law 21-191 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-191: § 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(c) of D.C. Law 21-191 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 7–1721.04. Self-service sale of tobacco.

(a) No person shall sell or distribute tobacco products, except cigars, through a self-service display.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to:

(1) Vending machines that are permitted under § 47-2404(b)(3); or

(2) Self-service displays that are located in a tobacco specialty store.

(c) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $500 nor less than $100, imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both, for the first offense. Any person convicted of a subsequent violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 nor less than $500, imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.


(Feb. 7, 1891, 26 Stat. 736, ch. 117, § 5; as added July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 3(d), 57 DCR 3019; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-191, § 2(d), 63 DCR 15003.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1721.07.

Applicability

Section 7021 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the amendments of this section by D.C. Law 21-191 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-191: § 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(d) of D.C. Law 21-191 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 7–1721.05. Package requirements.

(a) No person shall sell or distribute to any person within the District of Columbia any cigarettes except in packages containing no less than 20 cigarettes.

(b) This section does not apply to a tobacco specialty store.

(c) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $500 nor less than $100, imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both, for the first offense. Any person convicted of a subsequent violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 nor less than $500, imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.

(d) Any license to sell tobacco products issued pursuant to § 47-2404 may be suspended for a first or second violation of subsection (a) of this section. The license shall be revoked for a third or subsequent violation of subsection (a) of this section.


(Feb. 7, 1891, 26 Stat. 736, ch. 117, § 6; as added July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 3(d), 57 DCR 3019; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-191, § 2(e), 63 DCR 15003.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1721.07.

Applicability

Section 7021 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the amendments of this section by D.C. Law 21-191 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-191: § 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(e) of D.C. Law 21-191 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 7–1721.06. Prohibited sellers.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, no tobacco product shall be sold to individual customers from mobile vending motor vehicles and trailers that sell retail food products ready for immediate consumption.

(b) Cigarettes may be sold at hotdog stands and construction site food wagons by vendors who are licensed pursuant to § 47-2404.

(c) No single cigar containing reconstituted tobacco products shall be sold to individual customers at convenience stores and gas stations.

(d) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $500 nor less than $100, imprisoned not more than 30 days, or both, for the first offense. Any person convicted of a subsequent violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than $1,000 nor less than $500, imprisoned not more than 90 days, or both.


(Feb. 7, 1891, 26 Stat. 736, ch. 117, § 7; as added July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 3(d), 57 DCR 3019; Feb. 18, 2017, D.C. Law 21-191, § 2(f), 63 DCR 15003.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-1703.04 and § 7-1721.07.

Applicability

Section 7021 of D.C. Law 22-168 repealed section 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 removing the applicability restriction impacting this section. Therefore the amendments of this section by D.C. Law 21-191 have been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-191: § 5 of D.C. Law 21-191 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(f) of D.C. Law 21-191 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.


§ 7–1721.07. Civil penalties.

Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of §§ 7-1721.02, 7-1721.04, 7-1721.05, and 7-1721.06, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of this subchapter for these sections, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.]. Adjudication of any infraction of these sections shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2 [§ 2-1801.01 et seq.].


(Feb. 7, 1891, 26 Stat. 736, ch. 117, § 8; as added July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 3(d), 57 DCR 3019.)