Mississippi

Clean Indoor Air

Public Places

It shall be unlawful for any person to smoke a cigar or pipe in or upon any passenger bus or coach. Persons who continue to smoke after being asked to refrain from smoking can be ejected from public buses and charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $500, imprisonment up to 30 days, or both.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 97-35-1 (1964).

Government Buildings

No person shall smoke in any government building, which is defined as any building owned, rented, leased, occupied or operated by the state, including the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state government; any county, municipality or any other political subdivision of the state; any public authority, commission, agency or public benefit corporation; or any other separate corporate instrumentality or unit of state or local government. If only part of a facility is leased by the state or locality, only the leased part of the facility will be considered to be a government building. A government building shall not include any building owned or leased by the state institutions of higher learning or the public community and junior colleges or any space in a government building used by law enforcement officers. The State Veterans Affairs Board may designate smoking areas in the state veterans’ homes operated by the board. The person, agency or entity having jurisdiction or supervision over a government building shall not allow smoking in the building, and shall use reasonable efforts to prevent smoking in such building, including, but not limited to posting appropriate signs informing employees, invitees, guests and other persons that smoking is prohibited and securing the removal of persons who smoke in the building.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 29-5-161 (2007).

The law prohibiting smoking in government buildings and university/college classroom buildings shall not be interpreted or construed to permit smoking where it is otherwise restricted by other applicable laws or to prohibit any municipality or county from adopting additional ordinances with regard to smoking in public places.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 29-5-161 (2007).

Schools

No person shall use any tobacco product on any educational property. “Educational property” means any public school building or bus, public school campus, grounds, recreational area, athletic field, or other property owned, used or operated by any local school board, school, or directors for the administration of any public educational institution or during a school-related activity. Any adult who violates this section shall receive a warning for a first conviction; a $75 fine for a second conviction; and a fine of up to $150 for all subsequent convictions. It is the responsibility of all law enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies of this state to ensure that the provisions of this act are enforced.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 97-32-29 (2000).

No person shall smoke in any university or college classroom building, which is defined as any building used by the state institutions of higher learning or the public community and junior colleges exclusively for student instructional purposes, including classrooms, auditoriums, theaters, laboratories, hallways and restrooms. Smoking policies applicable in the private offices of faculty and staff and other “smoking permitted” space may be determined by each academic and administrative department. The person, agency or entity having jurisdiction or supervision over a university/classroom building shall not allow smoking in the building, and shall use reasonable efforts to prevent smoking in such building, including, but not limited to posting appropriate signs informing employees, invitees, guests and other persons that smoking is prohibited and securing the removal of persons who smoke in the building.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 29-5-161 (2007).

Tobacco Excise Tax

Cigarettes

Tax rate per pack of 20: 18 cents

Date last changed: June 1, 1985 — from 11 cents to 18 cents

Year first enacted: 1930

MISS. CODE ANN. § 27-69-13 (1985).

Other Tobacco Products

All other tobacco products: 15% of the manufacturer’s list price

MISS. CODE ANN. § 27-69-13 (1985).

Revenue Collected

$43,531,000

Youth Access

Compliance/Enforcement

The Office of the Attorney General or local law enforcement agencies shall at least annually conduct random, unannounced inspections at locations where tobacco products are sold or distributed. Persons under 18 may be enlisted by the Office of the Attorney General or local law enforcement agencies, provided that the parent or legal guardian has given prior written consent. The Office of the Attorney General must prepare a report of the findings to the Department of Health and Department of Mental Health. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-32-21 & 97-32-2 (1998).

Penalties for Sales to Minors

It is unlawful for any person or retailer to sell, barter, deliver or give tobacco products, including, but not limited to, cigarettes brands, cigars, pipes, snuff, smoking tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and rolling papers to any minor unless the individual under age 18 holds a retailer’s permit to sell tobacco products. Any person who violates this section is liable for a fine of $50 for the first violation, $75 for the second violation and $150 for all subsequent violations. The person owning the applicable retailer permit shall be sent a warning letter for the first violation, and shall be required to enroll in and complete a “Retailer Tobacco Education Program” for the second violation. For the third and subsequent violations within a year of the first two violations, any retailer’s permit may be revoked or suspended for a period of at least one year after notice and opportunity for hearing. It is an affirmative defense that the person selling, bartering, delivering or giving tobacco products to a minor, had requested and examined a government issued photographic identification. The failure of a person selling tobacco to request and examine photographic identification shall form a conclusive basis for the seller’s violation of this section. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-32-5 & 97-32-2 (1998).

Penalties to Minors

No person under 18 shall purchase any tobacco product. High school, junior high school or elementary school students may not possess tobacco on any educational property.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 97-32-9 (1998).

A minor who falsely states he is 18 years of age or older or presents any document that indicates he is 18 years of age or older for the purpose of purchasing or possessing any tobacco or tobacco product shall be fined from $25 to $200 or required to complete at least 30 days of community service, or both.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 97-32-13 (1998).

Sign Posting

Point of sale warning signs are required, and each seller shall place and maintain in legible condition, at each point of sale of tobacco products to consumers, a sign no smaller than 8.5 by 11 inches or 93 square inches stating: “STATE LAW PROHIBITS THE SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS. PROOF OF AGE REQUIRED.” Violation is subject to a penalty of not more than $100. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-32-11 & 97-32-2 (1998).

Other Provisions

Every person employed as a retail sales clerk by a person engaged in the business of selling tobacco products at retail shall sign an agreement with his employer, which states that they understand that state law prohibits the sale or distribution of tobacco products, including samples, to persons under the age of 18 and requires that proof of age be demanded if the purchaser appears to be under the age of 18, and such employee shall promise, “as a condition of their employment, to observe this law.” Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined $50 to $100 upon conviction. No retailer who instructs his employee as directed above shall be liable for any violations committed by such employees. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-32-7 & 97-32-2 (1998).

Restrictions on Distribution of Tobacco Product Samples or Sales of Single Cigarettes

Samples

It is unlawful for any person to barter, deliver or give tobacco products to any minor. Any person who violates this section is subject to the same penalties and affirmative defenses as selling tobacco products to a minor. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-32-5 & 97-32-2 (1998).

Single Cigarettes

No retailer shall distribute tobacco products, excluding cigars and pipe tobacco, other than in a sealed package provided by the manufacturer with the required health warning. Violators will be fined $100 for the first violation and/or enrolled in a Retailer Tobacco Education Prevention Program, $200 for a second violation within a year of the first violation and $300 for all subsequent violations. In addition, in the case of all subsequent violations within one year of two prior violations, the permit of the violator may be suspended or revoked. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-32-17 & 97-32-2 (1998).

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or distribute in this state any cigarettes the package of which does not comply with all requirements imposed by or pursuant to federal law regarding warnings and other information on packages of cigarettes manufactured, packaged or imported for sale, distribution or use in the United States, including, but not limited to, the precise warning labels specified in the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. Knowingly violating this provision is subject to a fine of $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than five years.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 75-23-33 & 75-23-35 (2000).

Restrictions on Sale of Tobacco Products in Vending Machines

Placement

Vending machines are restricted to establishments where individuals under the age of 18 years are denied access or are required to be accompanied by an adult. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-32-15 & 97-32-2 (1998).

Penalty

A person who violates this section shall be punished by a penalty of not more than $250. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 97-32-15 & 97-32-2 (1998).

Licensing Requirements

Requirements

Every dealer (manufacturer), distributor, wholesaler and retailer must have an annual permit to engage in the sale or use of tobacco products from the chairman of the state Tax Commission. Permits must be obtained for each place of business. Permits expire on January 31st of each year. Any person who engages in any business for which a permit is required before procuring a permit, or after the permit is cancelled, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and punishable by a fine of $50 to $500.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 27-69-5 (1998) & 27-69-7 (1985).

Retailers and wholesalers must obtain a license to sell cigarettes. A separate license is required for each place of business. The state Tax Commission shall make rules and regulations respecting applications therefor or issuance thereof.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 75-23-27 (1954).

Fee

Wholesalers, distributors and dealers are subject to a $100 annual permit fee.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 27-69-7 (1985).

License Suspension for Sales to Minors

For the third and subsequent violations of the sale of tobacco products to minors’ law within a year of two previous violations, the retailer’s permit may be revoked or suspended for a period of at least one year after notice and opportunity for a hearing. The provisions of this law shall supersede any existing or subsequently enacted local law, ordinance or regulation that relates to the sale, promotion, and distribution of tobacco products.

MISS. CODE ANN §§ 97-32-5 & 97-32-2 (1998).

Smoker Protection Laws

It is unlawful for any public or private employer to require as a condition of employment that any employee or applicant for employment abstain from smoking or using tobacco products during non-work hours, provided that the individual complies with applicable laws or policies regulating smoking on the premises of the employer during working hours.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 71-7-33 (1994).

Tobacco Liability

Industry Protection

A supersedeas bond or equivalent security required on any money judgment entered in whole or in part on account of punitive damages shall, as to the punitive damages portion of the judgment only, be the lower of: 125 percent of the punitive damages, 10 percent of the net worth of the defendant seeking appeal as determined by applying generally accepted accounting principles to the defendant’s financial status as of December 31, of the year prior to the entry of the judgment for punitive damages. Absent unusual circumstances, the total amount of the required bond or equivalent security for any case as to punitive damages shall not exceed $100 million. When the appellant is allowed the benefit of a reduction in bond or equivalent security the court may require submission of such reports or evidence to the court and to opposing parties as will allow them to be properly informed of the financial condition of the appellant during the period of supersedeas. If at any time after notice and hearing, the court finds that an appellant who has posted a bond or equivalent security for less than 125 percent of the full amount of the judgment has taken actions that affect the financial ability of the appellant to respond to the judgment, or has taken other actions with the intent to avoid the judgment, the court shall increase the bond or equivalent security to the full 125 percent of the judgment.

MS RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE, Rule 8(b)(2-5) (2001).

Tobacco Settlement

Tobacco Control Appropriations

Mississippi appropriated $11,700,000 for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in FY2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) from the state’s annual settlement payment. $9,450,000 was appropriated in FY2008.

FY2009 Department of Health Appropriations (H.B. 1602) enacted 5/6/08 and effective 7/1/08.

The Tobacco Control Program Fund was established in the state treasury. From the annual tobacco settlement payment, $20 million is dedicated annually to the fund. The money is to be used to fund a comprehensive tobacco control program and for other specified purposes.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 41-113-1 to 41-113-11 (2007).

The Health Care Trust Fund was established in the state treasury, and received $280 million in settlement money at the end of FY1999, and is supposed to receive all subsequent annual settlement payments. All income from the trust fund is supposed to go to the trust fund, and funds do not lapse to the general fund. Money is transferred to the Health Care Expendable Fund each fiscal year from the Health Care Trust Fund. The trust fund principal is supposed to remain forever inviolate except for specified circumstances, but has been used by the legislature for general budget purposes on several occasions, including a $240 million transfer to the Health Care Expendable Fund in 2005, which is supposed to be paid back from the general fund with interest in FY2010 through FY2017 (see below).

MISS. CODE ANN. § 43-13-405 (2007).

The Health Care Expendable Fund was also established in the state treasury. All income from investment of the money in the fund shall be credited to the fund. The funds in the Health Care Expendable Fund are available for expenditure by specific appropriation each fiscal year beginning in FY2000 for health care purposes. Money is transferred to this fund each fiscal year from the Health Care Trust Fund. In 2005, $240 million was transferred to this fund from the Health Care Trust Fund in addition to regular transfers each year. This transfer is scheduled to be paid back plus interest from the state general fund in specified amounts in FY2010 to FY2017.

MISS. CODE ANN. § 43-13-407 (2008).

On June 14, 2007, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the May 30, 2006 decision of Jackson County Chancery Court Judge Jaye Bradley that absent an agreement between the executive and legislative branches of state government or specific authorizing legislation, the court does not have the power to allocate funding to the non-profit Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, which formerly ran Mississippi’s tobacco prevention program. Additionally, the court ruled that Judge Bradley’s original 2000 order transferring money to the Partnership was invalid and all remaining money collected by the Partnership after that date needed to be returned to the Mississippi Health Care Trust Fund.

Healthy Mississippi v. State of Mississippi, issued 6/14/07.

Non-Monetary Provisions

The Office of Tobacco Control was created in the state Department of Health. The office, with the advice of the Mississippi Tobacco Control Advisory Board, shall develop and implement a comprehensive tobacco control program that is consistent with the recommendations for effective program components and funding recommendations in the 1999 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as those Best Practices may be periodically amended by the CDC. The Mississippi Tobacco Control Advisory Board was also created, and will consist of 13 members who will make recommendations about implementation of the program.

MISS. CODE ANN. §§ 41-113-1 to 41-113-11 (2007).

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