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California Penal Code Section 308

308. (a) (1) Every person, firm, or corporation that knowingly or under circumstances in which it has knowledge, or should otherwise have grounds for knowledge, sells, gives, or in any way furnishes to another person who is under the age of 18 years any tobacco, cigarette, or cigarette papers, or blunt wraps, or any other preparation of tobacco, or any other instrument or paraphernalia that is designed for the smoking or ingestion of tobacco, products prepared from tobacco, or any controlled substance, is subject to either a criminal action for a misdemeanor or to a civil action brought by a city attorney, a county counsel, or a district attorney, punishable by a fine of two hundred dollars ($200) for the first offense, five hundred dollars ($500) for the second offense, and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the third offense.

Notwithstanding Section 1464 or any other law, 25 percent of each civil and criminal penalty collected pursuant to this subdivision shall be paid to the office of the city attorney, county counsel, or district attorney, whoever is responsible for bringing the successful action, and 25 percent of each civil and criminal penalty collected pursuant to this subdivision shall be paid to the city or county for the administration and cost of the community service work component provided in subdivision (b).

Proof that a defendant, or his or her employee or agent, demanded, was shown, and reasonably relied upon evidence of majority shall be defense to any action brought pursuant to this subdivision. Evidence of majority of a person is a facsimile of or a reasonable likeness of a document issued by a federal, state, county, or municipal government, or subdivision or agency thereof, including, but not limited to, a motor vehicle operator s license, a registration certificate issued under the federal Selective Service Act, or an identification card issued to a member of the Armed Forces.

For purposes of this section, the person liable for selling or furnishing tobacco products to minors by a tobacco vending machine shall be the person authorizing the installation or placement of the tobacco vending machine upon premises he or she manages or otherwise controls and under circumstances in which he or she has knowledge, or should otherwise have grounds for knowledge, that the tobacco vending machine will be utilized by minors.

(2) For purposes of this section, blunt wraps means cigar papers or cigar wrappers of all types that are designed for smoking or ingestion of tobacco products and contain less than 50 percent tobacco.

(b) Every person under the age of 18 years who purchases, receives, or possesses any tobacco, cigarette, or cigarette papers, or any other preparation of tobacco, or any other instrument or paraphernalia that is designed for the smoking of tobacco, products prepared from tobacco, or any controlled substance shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of seventy-five dollars ($75) or 30 hours of community service work.

(c) Every person, firm, or corporation that sells, or deals in tobacco or any preparation thereof, shall post conspicuously and keep so posted in his, her, or their place of business at each point of purchase the notice required pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 22952 of the Business and Professions Code, and any person failing to do so shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of fifty dollars ($50) for the first offense, one hundred dollars ($100) for the second offense, two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for the third offense, and five hundred dollars ($500) for the fourth offense and each subsequent violation of this provision, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding 30 days.

(d) For purposes of determining the liability of persons, firms, or corporations controlling franchises or business operations in multiple locations for the second and subsequent violations of this section, each individual franchise or business location shall be deemed a separate entity.

(e) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), any person under 18 years of age who purchases, receives, or possesses any tobacco, cigarette, or cigarette papers, or any other preparation of tobacco, any other instrument or paraphernalia that is designed for the smoking of tobacco, or products prepared from tobacco is immune from prosecution for that purchase, receipt, or possession while participating in either of the following:

(1) An enforcement activity that complies with the guidelines adopted pursuant to subdivisions (c) and (d) of Section 22952 of the Business and Professions Code.

(2) An activity conducted by the State Department of Public Health, a local health department, or a law enforcement agency for the purpose of determining or evaluating youth tobacco purchase rates.

(f) It is the Legislature s intent to regulate the subject matter of this section. As a result, a city, county, or city and county shall not adopt any ordinance or regulation inconsistent with this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 303, Sec. 388. Effective January 1, 2016.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016