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Youth Access Laws

 

Maine has been recognized for leadership in protecting its children from the adverse effects of tobacco. The state protects its youth against tobacco use by enforcing laws about selling tobacco to minors.

The law in Maine is clear: Minors in Maine may not purchase tobacco products, and a person may not give tobacco product to a minor. Below are links to the State of Maine statutes that involve the sale, use and furnishing of tobacco products to the state’s youth:

Tobacco specialty stores

A person under 18 years of age is prohibited from entering a business licensed as a tobacco specialty store unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, regardless of whether smoking is allowed in that store.

Purchase/possession/use

A person may not sell, furnish, give away or offer to sell, furnish or give away a tobacco product to any person under 18 years of age.

Sales to minors

Tobacco products may not be sold at retail to any person under 27 years of age unless the seller first verifies that person’s age by means of reliable photographic identification containing the person’s date of birth.

Fines, revocation and suspension

The District Court may impose fines or suspend or revoke licenses in accordance with this chapter.

Retail tobacco licensing rules 10-144 Chapter 203

Rules relating to the retail sale and delivery of tobacco products in Maine.

Note: Some provisions of the delivery sales law have been struck down by a court decision that is under appeal.

Promoting Responsible Tobacco Sales

Maine is doing everything it can to prevent sales of tobacco products to youth. As part of this mission, the state has developed the innovative program called NO BUTS! (Blocking Underage Tobacco Sales).

NO BUTS! reminds employers, managers, and employees that, along with stiff fines and penalties for selling tobacco to underage consumers, there are other reasons to block tobacco sales to minors: combating underage tobacco use and helping stop this major public health crisis.

Hundreds of Retailers Have Signed onto NO BUTS!

Some of these retailers include the major chains in Maine. Through outreach and training, retailers receive information about training staff and implementing a NO BUTS! program in their workplace. The program provides tools for retailers about responsible tobacco sales, and it helps reward retailers who are already doing a good job.

As part of the NO BUTS! program, the Star Store initiative encourages retailers to reduce tobacco advertising in their stores. Find out more about Star Store.

Concerned about tobacco sales in your community? Find out more about the NO BUTS! program.

Speak Up!

If you think a store might have sold tobacco to a youth, report it.


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