Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act (ATUPA)
Enacted in 1992 and funded at $2.5 million in 1997, this law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors (under the age of 21). Amendments to ATUPA have clarified and expanded the definition of tobacco products, which include cigarettes, loose cigarettes, cigars, bidis, gutka, chewing tobacco, powdered tobacco, nicotine water, herbal cigarettes, shisha, smoking paraphernalia and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).
Penalties for illegal sales to minors include fines, loss of license to sell lottery tickets and loss of license to sell tobacco products. Every licensed tobacco retailer is assessed annually for compliance with this law. The 2011-2012 compliance rate was 95.1 percent. Municipalities may establish a higher minimum age of sale. The minimum legal sale age (MLSA) for tobacco products in New York City and Suffolk County is 21 years of age, and the MLSA in Nassau and Onondaga counties is 19 years of age.
Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA)
Enacted in 1989 and last amended in 2013, the Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) prohibits smoking of tobacco (herbal cigarettes are exempted) in nearly all public and work places. Exemptions are allowed for cigar bars in existence prior to December 31, 2002 and for organizations that do not have employees. Municipalities may enact local laws that are stronger than state law. Rockland County prohibits smoking in motor vehicles when children under the age of 18 are present.
Would you like to help prevent minors from being able to purchase tobacco products?
Seneca County Environmental Health is looking for 16 and 17 year olds to attempt to purchase tobacco products (under the supervision of an adult).
The ATUPA program requires that the local health department have youths attempt to purchase tobacco products from registered retailers. As a member of the ATUPA team a youth, age 16 or 17, is accompanied to a store and the youth attempts to purchase tobacco products. If a sale is made the retailer will be brought in for an administrative hearing, the youth is not required to be at the hearing, where they could face fines, loss of license to sell lottery tickets and loss of license to sell tobacco products.
If you would like to be part of the ATUPA Team, fill out the consent form and have a parent/guardian sign it (click here to view or download the consent form). Return it to the health department with a copy of your driver’s license/permit and be prepared to fill out paperwork to receive payment.