North Carolina

Clean Indoor Air

1. Government Buildings

Smoking is prohibited inside state government buildings and state vehicles as provided in this section. State government building is defined as a building owned, leased as lessor, or the area leased as lessee and occupied by state government. This includes all agencies of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. As to smoking rooms in residence halls that were permitted by North Carolina General Statutes section 143-597(a)(6), this law becomes effective beginning with the 2008-2009 academic year. Smoking is permitted inside state government buildings that are used for medical or scientific research to the extent that smoking is an integral part of the research, and is confined to the area where the research is being conducted. The individual in charge of the state government building or assigning the vehicle or the individual’s designee shall post signs in conspicuous areas of the building or vehicles. This does not apply to vehicles used in undercover operations.

N.C. GEN. STAT. §§ 130A-491 to 130A-495 (2009).

A local government may adopt an ordinance, law, or rule restricting smoking; provided any local ordinance, law, or rule authorized under this section may restrict smoking only in: Buildings owned, leased as lessor, or the area leased as lessee and occupied by local government; building and grounds wherein local health departments and departments of social services are housed; public schools, school facilities, on school campuses, at school-related or school-sponsored events, in or on other school property, public school buses, or at day care centers; any place on a public transportation vehicle owned or leased by local government and used by the public; and any place in a local vehicle. Such restrictions may be imposed by local school boards having ownership or jurisdiction over the building, campus, event, property, or vehicle; and any place on a public transportation vehicle owned or leased by local government and used by the public. “Local government” means any local political subdivision of this state, any airport authority, or any authority or body created by any ordinance or rules of any such entity. “Grounds” means the area located within 50 linear feet of a building wherein a local health department or a local department of social services is housed.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 130A-498 (2009).

Notwithstanding the above provision, any local law, rule or ordinance on smoking enacted prior to October 15, 1993 is not preempted. After this date, local laws, rules or ordinances on smoking shall not be amended or enacted to contain restrictions regulating smoking, which are stronger than existing state law. Any such local ordinance, law or rule may restrict smoking pursuant to this section and 143-597 of the North Carolina General statutes only in the following places not owned, leased or occupied by local government: 1) a public meeting, 2) the indoor space in an auditorium, arena, or coliseum, or an appurtenant building thereof and 3) a library or museum open to the public.

No person may use tobacco products inside of a state correctional facility, except for authorized religious purposes. Inmates in violation of this section are subject to disciplinary measures to be determined by the department, including the potential loss of sentence credits earned prior to that violation. Employees in violation are subject to disciplinary action by the department. Visitors in violation are subject to removal from the facility and loss of visitation privileges.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 148-23.1 (2006).

Schools

No later than August 1, 2008, local boards of education shall adopt, implement and enforce a written policy prohibiting the use of all tobacco products by any person, in school buildings, in school facilities, on school campuses, and on any property owned by the local school administrative unit. Tobacco use shall also be prohibited by persons attending a school-sponsored event at a location not listed above when in the presence of students or school personnel or in an area where smoking is otherwise prohibited by law. The policy may permit tobacco products to be included in instructional or research activities in public school buildings if the activity is conducted or supervised by the faculty member overseeing the instruction or research and the activity does not include smoking, chewing, or otherwise ingesting the tobacco product. Nothing in this section or any other section prohibits a local board of education from adopting and enforcing a more restrictive policy on the use of tobacco in school buildings, in school facilities, on school campuses, or at school-related or school-sponsored events, and in or on other school property.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115C-407 (2007).

Smoking is prohibited in state government buildings, including any facilities of state-supported colleges/universities. This specifically includes residence halls starting in the 2008-2009 academic year.

N.C. GEN. STAT. §§ 130A-491 to 130A-495 (2009).

Local community college boards of trustees may adopt, implement, and enforce a written policy prohibiting at all times the use of any tobacco product by any person in community college buildings, in community college facilities, on community college campuses, in vehicles owned, leased, or operated by the local community college, and in or on any other community college property owned, leased, or operated by the local community college. The policy may also prohibit the use of all tobacco products by persons attending a community college-sponsored event.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 115D-20.1 (2008).

Health Facilities

Smoking is prohibited in long-term care facilities, which include adult care homes, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, facilities licensed under Chapter 122C of the General Statutes, and other licensed facilities that provide long-term care services. The person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a long-term care facility shall conspicuously post the appropriate signs indicating smoking is prohibited, ask anyone smoking inside to stop and provide written notice to people upon admittance that smoking is prohibited. The Department may impose an administrative penalty not to exceed $200 for violation.

N.C. GEN. STAT. §§ 131D-4.4 & 131E-114.3 (2007).

Tobacco Excise Tax

Cigarettes

Tax rate per pack of 20: 35 cents

Date last changed: July 1, 2006 — from 30 cents to 35 cents

Year first enacted: 1969

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 105-113.5 (2005).

Other Tobacco Products

All other tobacco products: 10% of the cost price of the products

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 105-113.35(a) (2007).

Revenue from three percent of the tax is deposited in the state general fund, and the remaining revenue is deposited in the University Cancer Research Fund established pursuant to North Carolina General Statute section 116-29.1.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 105-113.35(e) (2007).

This tax does not apply to free samples of tobacco products.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 105-113.35 (2005).

Revenue Collected

$234,968,000

Youth Access

Compliance/Enforcement

The Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety is designated as the state agency, in coordination with local police and sheriffs’ departments, and the Department of Health and Human Services to implement model education and enforcement of North Carolina General Statute section 14-313. The standard model of education and enforcement shall include: merchant education; age-testing of youth volunteers involved in enforcement; providing public notice of upcoming enforcement oeprations; conducting vending machine and retail enforcement; issuing warning notices or citations; public recognition for good behavior; and advising communities of the results of enforcement.

N.C. Exec. Order 123 (1997).

If any person shall knowingly send or assist a person less than 18 years old in purchasing, acquiring, or receiving tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers, the person shall be guilty of a Class Two misdemeanor. However, persons under 18 may be enlisted by police or local sheriffs’ departments to test compliance if the testing is under the direct supervision of that law enforcement department and written parental consent is provided. The Department of Health and Human Services shall also have the authority, pursuant to a written plan prepared by the secretary, to use persons under 18 years of age in annual, random, unannounced inspections, provided that prior written parental consent is given for the involvement of these persons and that the inspections are conducted for the sole purpose of preparing a scientifically and methodologically valid statistical study of the extent of success the state has achieved in reducing the availability of tobacco products to persons under the age of 18, and preparing any report to the extent required by federal law. No political subdivisions, boards, or agencies of the state may enact ordinances, rules or regulations concerning the sale, distribution, display or promotion of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers on or after September 1, 1995.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-313 (2002).

Photo ID: A person engaged in the sale of tobacco products at retail or through a vending machine shall demand proof of age from a prospective purchaser if the person has reasonable grounds to believe that the prospective purchaser is less than 18 years of age. Failure to demand proof of age as required is a Class Two misdemeanor if in fact the prospective purchaser is under 18 years of age. “Proof of age” is defined as a driver’s license or other photographic identification that includes the bearer’s date of birth that purports to establish that the person is 18 years of age or older. No political subdivisions, boards, or agencies of the state may enact ordinances, rules or regulations concerning the sale, distribution, display or promotion of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers on or after September 1, 1995.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-313 (2002).

Penalties for Sales to Minors

If any person shall distribute, or aid, assist, or abet any other person in distributing tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers to any person under the age of 18 years, or if any person shall purchase tobacco products on behalf of a person less than 18 years, the person shall have committed a Class Two misdemeanor; provided, that it shall not be unlawful to distribute tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers to an employee when required in the performance of the employee’s duties. Proof that the defendant demanded, was shown, and reasonably relied upon proof of age or the defendant relied on the electronic system established by the Division of Motor Vehicles shall be a defense to any action brought under this subsection. No political subdivisions, boards, or agencies of the state may enact ordinances, rules or regulations concerning the sale, distribution, display or promotion of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers on or after September 1, 1995.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-313 (2002).

Penalties to Minors

If a person under the age of 18 purchases or accepts receipt, or attempts to purchase or accept receipt, of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers, or presents or offers to any person any purported proof of age which is false, fraudulent, or not actually their own, for the purpose of purchasing or receiving any tobacco product or cigarette wrapping papers, the person shall be guilty of a Class Two misdemeanor. No political subdivisions, boards, or agencies of the State may enact ordinances, rules or regulations concerning the sale, distribution, display or promotion of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers on or after September 1, 1995.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-313 (2002).

Sign Posting

Retail distributors of tobacco products shall prominently display near the point of sale a sign in letters at least five-eighths of an inch high which states the following: “N.C. LAW STRICTLY PROHIBITS THE PURCHASE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS BY PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 18. PROOF OF AGE REQUIRED.” Failure to post the sign will result in a fine of $25 for the first violation and $75 for each succeeding violation. No political subdivisions, boards, or agencies of the state may enact ordinances, rules or regulations concerning the sale, distribution, display or promotion of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers on or after September 1, 1995.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-313 (2002).

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

Samples

If any person shall furnish, give, or provide tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers, including tobacco product samples, at no cost for the purpose of promoting the product, to any person under the age of 18 years, the person shall be guilty of a Class Two misdemeanor. No political subdivisions, boards, or agencies of the state may enact ordinances, rules or regulations concerning the sale, distribution, display or promotion of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers on or after September 1, 1995.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-313 (2002).

Single Cigarettes

A person who sells or holds for sale a package of cigarettes that differs in any respect with the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is to be sold within the United States commits a Class A1 misdemeanor and engages in an unfair trade practice prohibited by NC GEN. STAT. 75-1.1.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-401.18 (2002).

Restrictions on Sale of Tobacco Products in Vending Machines

Placement

Tobacco vending machines are restricted to any establishment which is open only to persons 18 years or older; or any establishment where the vending machine is under the continuous control of the owner or licensee of the premises or an employee thereof, can be operated only upon activation by the owner, licensee or employee prior to each purchase, and is not accessible to the public when the establishment is closed. The regulation of vending machines is specifically exempted from statewide preemption.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-313 (2002).

Penalty

Violation of the restrictions on placement of tobacco product vending machines is a Class Two misdemeanor.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-313 (2002).

Licensing Requirements

Requirements

No person shall engage in business as a distributor of cigarettes without obtaining a license from the Secretary of Revenue for each place of business. Distributing cigarettes without the appropriate license is a Class One misdemeanor.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 105-113.11 (1973).

Retail dealers and wholesale dealers of tobacco products other than cigarettes must obtain a license for each place of business.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 105-113.36 (1992).

Fee

$25 for each place of business for cigarette distributors; $25 for wholesale dealers of other tobacco products; and $10 for a retail dealer of other tobacco products.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 105-113.12 (1991).

Smoker Protection Laws

It is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee, or discharge or otherwise discriminate against any employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because the prospective employee or the employee engages in or has engaged in the lawful use of lawful products if the activity occurs off the premises of the employer during non-working hours and does not adversely affect the employee’s job performance or the person’s ability to properly fulfill the responsibilities of the position in question or the safety of the other employees. It is not unlawful if the restriction relates to a bona fide occupational requirement and is reasonably related to the employment activities; if the restriction relates to the fundamental objectives of the organization; or if the employee fails to comply with the requirements of the employer’s substance abuse prevention program. This section shall not prohibit an employer from offering, imposing, or having in effect a health, disability, or life insurance policy distinguishing between employees for the type or price of coverage based on the use or nonuse of lawful products if differential rates assessed employees reflect actuarially justified differences in the provision of employee benefits; the employer provides written notice to employees setting forth the differential rates imposed by insurance carriers; and the employer contributes an equal amount to the insurance carrier on behalf of each employee of the employer. The employee against whom the violation occurs may bring a civil action within one year from the date of the alleged violation against the employer to obtain lost wages or benefits, an order of reinstatement without loss or position, seniority, or benefits or an order directing the employer to offer employment to the prospective employee.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 95-28.2 (1991).

Tobacco Liability

Industry Protection

If the appellee in a civil action brought under any legal theory obtains a judgment directing the payment or expenditure of money in the amount of $25 million or more, and the appellant seeks a stay of execution of the judgment within the period of time during which the appellant has the right to pursue appellate review, including discretionary review and certiorari, the amount of the undertaking that the appellant is required to execute to stay execution of the judgment during the entire period of the appeal shall be $25 million. If the appellee proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the appellant for whom the undertaking has been limited is, for the purpose of evading the judgment, (i) dissipating its assets, (ii) secreting its assets, or (iii) diverting its assets outside the jurisdiction of the courts of North Carolina or the federal courts of the United States other than in the ordinary course of business, then the limitation shall not apply and the appellant shall be required to make an undertaking in the full amount.

N.C. GEN. STAT. § 1-289 (2000).

Tobacco Settlement

Tobacco Control Appropriations

North Carolina allocated $17,100,000 from the Health and Wellness Trust Fund for tobacco prevention and cessation programs in FY2009 (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) from the state’s annual Master Settlement Agreement payment. The same amount was appropriated in FY2008.

Allocated by decision of the Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission, effective 7/1/08.

The Health and Wellness Trust Fund was created in the office of the state Treasurer and by statute receives 25 percent of the annual Master Settlement Agreement payments over the next 25 years. The money in the fund is to be used for addressing the health needs of underserved populations, to fund programs and initiatives that include research, education, prevention, and treatment of health problems in the state, and to develop a comprehensive, community-based plan with an emphasis on reducing youth tobacco use. In the years 2001 through 2025, one half of the funds can be used for grants and programs and the other half will create a reserve fund.

N.C. GEN. STAT. §§ 147-86.30 et seq. (2000).

Non-Monetary Provisions

The Health and Wellness Trust Fund is to be administered by a commission of 18 (speaker of the house, president pro tem of the senate, and the governor appoint six members each) with the help of an advisory committee (includes secretary of Health and Human Services, State Health Director, dean of UNC School of Public Health, as well as others considered necessary). The Commission will develop criteria for awarding grants, programs, and initiatives to be funded, as well as criteria to measure the outcomes of funded programs. The Commission is free to expend all funds for settlement years 1998, 1999, and 2000.

N.C. GEN. STAT. §§ 147-86.30 et seq. (2000).

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