Las Vegas Sun

November 28, 2015

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Bill aims to squash cigarette smoking by teens

A bill to clamp down on teenage smokers has been introduced by Sen. James Settelmeyer, who says students at middle and high schools are puffing cigarettes off campus without penalties.

It’s illegal for anyone under 18 years old to buy cigarettes or other tobacco products. But there’s no penalty in Nevada for those ages 14 to 18 to smoke or possess tobacco, says Settelmeyer, R-Minden.

Under SB177, a person who lies about his or her age to buy cigarettes or other tobacco products or even possesses them would be subject to a $25 fine for the first offense. A second offense carries a $50 fine and the third offense a $75 penalty.

The bill says that for the fourth offense, the judge may impose the $75 fine and order the juvenile to attend a smoking cessation program. But the judge has the discretion to waive the penalties.

“Kids are not supposed to smoke and there should be some consequences,” says Settelmeyer, who has 11 co-sponsors.

The penalty would not apply to a juvenile who is handling or transporting tobacco products in the presence of their parents or in the course of their job.

In addition to the fines, there could be a $10 administrative fee imposed.

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