Vermont

Clean Indoor Air

Public Places

The possession of lighted tobacco products in any form is prohibited in the common areas of all enclosed indoor places of public access and publicly owned buildings and offices. See the definition of “public places” in title 18, section 37-1741 of the Vermont Statutes for a complete list. Workplace smoking areas and areas not commonly open to the public of owner-operated businesses with no employees are exempt. Local ordinances are allowed as long as they are at least as protective of the rights of nonsmokers as state law.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, §§ 37-1741 et seq. (2005).

Government Buildings

Smoking is prohibited entirely in the common areas of buildings and offices owned, leased, or rented by state, county, or municipal governments, or by agencies supported by appropriation of, or by contracts or grants from, funds derived from federal, state, county, or municipal taxes.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, §§ 37-1741 et seq. (2005).

Private Workplaces

Each employer who operates a workplace shall establish, or negotiate through the collective bargaining process, a written smoking policy. The policy must prohibit smoking throughout the workplace or restrict it to designated enclosed areas. Smoking is prohibited in areas used or visited regularly by non-smoking employees. Employers may designate up to 30 percent of an employee cafeteria or lounge as a smoking area and may permit smoking in designated unenclosed areas only if the layout of the workplace is such that smoking will not be a physical irritant to any non-smoking employee, and 75 percent of the employees in the designated areas agree to allow smoking. The requirement that it be in writing only applies to employers who regularly employ at least ten employees who work more than 15 hours per week. The employer shall post a copy of the smoking policy in a conspicuous location at the place of employment, and copies shall be provided to an employee upon request. The definition of “workplace” does not include areas commonly open to the public. Areas not commonly open to the public of owner-operated businesses with no employees are exempt. Local ordinances are allowed as long as they are at least as protective of the rights of nonsmokers as state law.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, §§ 28-1421 et seq. (1988) & tit. 18 § 1743 (2005).

Schools

No person shall be permitted to use tobacco on public school grounds and no student shall be permitted to use tobacco at public school sponsored functions. Each public school board shall adopt policies prohibiting the possession and use of tobacco products by students at all times while under the supervision of school staff. These policies shall include confiscation and appropriate referrals to law enforcement authorities.

VT STAT. ANN. Tit. 16, § 1-140 (1997).

Notwithstanding the above, smoking is prohibited in the common areas of all indoor places of public access and publicly-owned buildings and offices, which includes most educational facilities.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, §§ 37-1741 (2005) & 37-1742 (1993).

Child Care Centers

Smoking is prohibited in the common areas of all indoor places of public access and all publicly-owned buildings and offices, which includes most child care facilities.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, §§ 37-1741 (2005) & 37-1742 (1993).

Health Facilities

Smoking is prohibited in the common areas of all indoor places of public access, the definition of which includes offices/buildings of facilities that provide health care services, hospitals and the common areas of nursing homes.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, §§ 37-1741 (2005) & 37-1742 (1993).

Restaurants

Restaurants: Smoking is prohibited in the common areas of all enclosed indoor places of public access, the definition of which includes restaurants.

VT STAT. ANN. Tit. 18, §§ 37-1741 (2005) & 37-1742 (1993).

Bars: Smoking is prohibited in the common areas of all enclosed indoor places of public access, the definition of which includes bars and cabarets.

VT STAT. ANN. Tit. 18, §§ 37-1741 (2005) & 37-1742 (1993).

Penalties/Enforcement

A proprietor, or the agent or employee of the proprietor, who observes a person violating this law, must ask that person to extinguish all lighted tobacco products. If the person refuses, they will be asked to leave the premises.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, § 37-1745 (1993).

An employee may file a complaint with the Department of Health for an employer’s failure to comply with workplace smoking restrictions. If the complaint is based on an employer’s alleged failure to establish a smoking policy or post the policy the department shall not initiate an action until it has given the employer written notice of the alleged violation and 10 days to come into voluntary compliance. Failure to come into compliance is subject to an administrative penalty of $100.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, § 28-1426 (1988).

In addition, the Commissioner of Health, or a local board of health, may bring an action in the superior court of the county in which a violation has occurred or is occurring, to enforce the provisions of this title. The court may grant temporary and permanent injunctive relief, and levy civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation. Any person who violates a provision of this title shall be fined not more than $5,000. Each violation shall be a separate offense and, in the case of a continuing violation, each day’s continuance shall be deemed a separate violation. When appropriate, all efforts shall be made to secure voluntary compliance.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, §§ 3-124, 3-130 & 3-131 (1985).

Tobacco Excise Tax

Cigarettes

Tax rate per pack of 20: $1.99

Date last changed: July 1, 2008 — from $1.79 to $1.99

Year first enacted: 1937

VT. STAT. ANN. tit. 32, § 7771 (2006).

Revenue from the cigarette tax is distributed as follows: 84.5 percent to the State Health Care Resources Fund, which finances health care coverage for beneficiaries of the state health care assistance programs under the global commitment to health care waiver approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and 15.5 percent to the Catamount Fund to be used to help fund the Catamount Health assistance program.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 33, §§ 1901d & 1986 (2007).

Other Tobacco Products

Little Cigars (weighing under 3 lbs./thousand): $1.99 per 20 cigars;

Roll-Your-Own Tobacco: $1.99 per 0.09 of an ounce;

Snuff: $1.66/oz. or fractional part thereof;

All other tobacco products: 41% of the wholesale price.

VT. STAT. ANN. Tit. 32, §§ 7771 & 7811 (2006).

All the revenue generated by taxes on other tobacco products, except little cigars and roll-your-own tobacco, shall be credited to the State Health Care Resources Fund. This fund finances health care coverage for beneficiaries of the state health care assistance programs under the global commitment to health care waiver approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Revenue from taxes on little cigars and roll-your-own tobacco are distributed the same way as the cigarette tax (see above).

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 33 §§ 1901d & 1986 (2007).

Revenue Collected

$60,064,000

Youth Access

Compliance/Enforcement

The Departments of Health and Liquor Control shall inspect for violations of chapter 40 of Title 7 of the Vermont statutes whenever either department conducts any other inspection. Violations shall be reported to the Department of Liquor Control for enforcement, and notices of violation shall be mailed to the alleged violator within 24 hours after the report. The Department of Liquor Control shall conduct or contract for compliance checks of tobacco licensees as frequently and as comprehensively as necessary to assure consistent statewide compliance with the prohibition on sales to minors of at least 90 percent for 17-year old buyers. An individual under the age of 18 in a compliance test shall not be in violation of Title 7, section 1005 of the Vermont Statutes.

Sec. 12 & 13, VT ACT 58 (1997).

Photo ID: A person shall exhibit proper proof of their age upon demand of a person licensed under this chapter, an employee of a licensee or a law enforcement officer. If the person fails to provide such proof of age, the licensee shall be entitled to refuse to sell tobacco products to the person. As used in this section, “proper proof” means a photographic motor vehicle operator’s license, a valid passport, a United States Military identification card or a photographic non-driver motor vehicle identification card obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, § 1004 (1997).

Penalties for Sales to Minors

It is unlawful for a person to sell or provide tobacco products to a person less than 18 years of age. Violators shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100 for the first offense and not more than $500 for subsequent offenses.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, §§ 1003(a) (2002) & 1007 (1997).

Any violation by a tobacco licensee of the youth access law after a first sale violation or during a compliance check conducted within six months of a previous violation shall be considered a multiple violation and shall result in the minimum license suspension, in addition to other penalties. Minimum license suspensions for multiple violations shall be assessed as follows: for a second violation, suspension for one weekday; three violations, suspension for two weekdays; four violations, suspension for three weekdays; and five violations, three weekend days, Friday through Sunday.

Sec. 13, VT ACT 58 (1997).

Penalties to Minors

A person less than 18 years of age shall not possess or purchase tobacco products or misrepresent their age to do so. A minor who possesses tobacco is subject to a civil penalty of $25. Failure to pay this penalty within 60 days will result in suspension or delay of the minor’s driver’s license. A minor that misrepresents their age shall be fined not more than $50 or provide up to 10 hours of community service, or both.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, § 1005 (1997).

Each public school board shall adopt policies prohibiting the possession, and use, of tobacco products by students at all times while under the supervision of school staff. These policies shall include confiscation and appropriate referrals to law enforcement authorities.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 16, § 140 (1997).

Placement of Tobacco Products

Except contracts in existence prior to March 31, 1997, no person holding a tobacco license shall display or store tobacco products where those products are accessible to consumers without direct assistance by the sales personnel. This does not apply to displays of tobacco products in stores where minors are not permitted; unopened cigarette cartons and smokeless tobacco in unopened multi-pack containers of 10 or more packages as long as the removal of cartons or multi-packs from the display can be observed by a store employee; and cigars or pipe tobacco stored in a humidor as long as the removal of these products from the humidor can be observed by a store employee. A person, partnership, association or corporation, who wilfully violates this requirement, is subject to a fine of $50 to $200 and/or imprisonment for one to three months.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, §§ 667(b) (1992) & 1003(d) (2002).

Sign Posting

A person licensed under this chapter shall post in a conspicuous place on the premises a printed copy of the provisions of sections requiring proof of age and penalties to minors for purchasing tobacco products or misrepresenting their age to do so. Persons failing to post such signs shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not more than $100.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, § 1006 (1992).

Bidis

The sale and the purchase of bidis is prohibited. A person who holds a tobacco license who sells bidis as prohibited by this subsection shall be fined not more than $500. A person who purchases bidis from any source shall be fined not more than $250.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7 § 1003(e) (2000).

Other Provisions

Internet Sales: No person shall cause cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, little cigars, or snuff, ordered or purchased by mail or through a computer network, telephonic network, or other electronic network, to be shipped to anyone other than a licensed wholesale dealer, distributor, or retail dealer in this state. A knowing or intentional violation of this section shall be punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years and/or a fine of not more than $5,000. In addition to or in lieu of any other civil or criminal remedy provided by law, the attorney general may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $5,000 for each shipment or transport.

VT STAT. ANN. Tit. 7, § 1010 (2008).

An applicant for a tobacco license that does not hold a liquor license shall be granted a tobacco license only after the applicant has met with a liquor control investigator for the purpose of being informed about the Vermont tobacco laws pertaining to the purchase, storage and sale of tobacco products. This training must be completed at least once every three years. The holder of the license must ensure that every employee involved in the sale of tobacco products completes a training program approved by the Department of Liquor Control before the employee begins selling or providing tobacco products, and at least once every 24 months thereafter. A licensee may comply with this requirement by conducting its own training program on its premises using information and materials furnished by the Department of Liquor Control. A licensee who fails to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall be subject to suspension of the tobacco license for no less than one day.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, § 1002a (2002).

No individual under the age of 16 may sell tobacco products.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, § 1002(f) (2006).

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

Samples

It is unlawful for any person to furnish tobacco products to a person less than 18 years of age. A person who furnishes tobacco products to a person less than 18 years of age shall be fined not more than $100 for a first offense and not more than $500 for subsequent offenses.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, §§ 1003(a) (2002) & 1007 (1997).

Single Cigarettes

No person holding a tobacco license shall sell cigarettes individually or in packs that contain fewer than 20 cigarettes. A person, partnership, association or corporation, who wilfully violates this requirement, is subject to a fine of $50 to $200 and/or imprisonment for one to three months.

VT STAT. ANN. Tit. 7, §§ 667(b) (1992) & 1003(f) (2002).

No person shall affix a cigarette stamp to or sell or offer for sale in this state any package or container of cigarettes if the container or package does not comply with all 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. Violation is a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not more than $250 and/or not to exceed 60 days imprisonment for a first offense, and a fine of $250 to $500 and/or imprisonment for not more than six months for a second and subsequent violation.

VT STAT. ANN. Tit. 32, §§ 7786 (1999) & 7821 (1959).

Restrictions on Sale of Tobacco Products in Vending Machines

Placement

All vending machines selling tobacco products are prohibited.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, § 1003(c) (2002).

Penalty

A person, partnership, association or corporation, who wilfully violates the above requirement, is subject to a fine of $50 to $200 and/or imprisonment for one to three months.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, §§ 667(b) (1992).

Licensing Requirements

Requirements

Wholesale dealers and distributors must obtain a license from the Commissioner of Taxes to sell cigarettes or tobacco products. A separate application and license is required for each wholesale outlet. Licenses are valid indefinitely unless suspended or revoked. Any wholesale dealer or distributor who shall sell, offer for sale or possess with intent to sell, any cigarettes or tobacco products, or both, without having first obtained a license shall be fined not more than $25 for the first offense and $25 to $200 for subsequent offenses.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 32, §§ 7731, 7732, 7734 & 7735 (1981).

Cigarette and other tobacco product retailers, including those who provide a vending machine for their sale, must obtain a license from the state Department of Liquor Control. Licenses expire on April 30th of each year. Each tobacco license shall be prominently displayed on the premises identified in the license. Selling tobacco products without obtaining a tobacco license is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $200 for the first offense and not more than $500 for each subsequent offense.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 7, § 1002 (2008).

Fee

$10 annually for a retail tobacco license, those applying for an alcohol and tobacco license need only pay the fee for the alcohol license; wholesalers and distributors, no charge.

VT. STAT. ANN. Tit. 7, § 1002 (2008) & tit. 32 § 7732 (1981).

License Suspension for Sales to Minors

Any violation by a tobacco licensee of the youth access law after a first sale violation or during a compliance check conducted within six months of a previous violation shall be considered a multiple violation and shall result in the minimum license suspension, in addition to other penalties. Minimum license suspensions for multiple violations shall be assessed as follows: for a second violation, suspension for one weekday; three violations, suspension for two weekdays; four violations, suspension for three weekdays; and five violations, three weekend days, Friday through Sunday.

Sec. 13, VT ACT 58 (1997).

Tobacco Liability

Industry Protection

Note: No appeal bond is required to appeal monetary lawsuit judgments.

Tobacco Settlement

Tobacco Control Appropriations

Vermont appropriated $5,224,947 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.

FY2009 Annual Budget (H.B. 891) enacted 6/7/08 and effective 7/1/08.

Non-Monetary Provisions

The Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board, an independent state board, was created to work in partnership with the agency of human services and the Department of Health in establishing the annual budget, program criteria and policy development, and to review and evaluate the tobacco prevention and treatment programs. By June 1, 2001, the department and the board shall jointly establish a plan for reducing adult and youth smoking rates by 50 percent in the following 10 years. By June 1st of each year, the department and the board shall jointly establish goals for reducing adult and youth smoking rates in the following two years. The program shall be comprehensive and research-based, and shall include the following components: (1) community-based programs; (2) school-based programs; (3) tobacco cessation programs; (4) counter marketing activities; (5) enforcement activities; (6) surveillance and evaluation activities; (7) policy initiatives. The Department of Liquor Control shall administer the component of the program that relates to enforcement activities and the Department of Education shall administer school-based programs.

VT STAT. ANN. tit. 18, §§ 9501 et seq. (2000).

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