C

Maine Grade Card

Population Covered: 1,344,212

Tobacco 21 Since: July 1, 2018

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation evaluated all current statewide Tobacco 21 laws for their alignment with best practices that lead to effective prevention of youth initiation of tobacco and nicotine products.

ENFORCEMENT
GRADE: C

Designated Enforcement Agency

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Best Practice:

Health Department or Designated Agency

Maine Enforcement:

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the designated enforcement agency in cooperation with all law enforcement officers

Age Verification

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Best Practice:

Before distributing any tobacco product, the tobacco retailer or the tobacco retailer’s agent or employee shall verify that the purchaser is at least 21 years of age. Each tobacco retailer or tobacco retailer’s agent or employee shall examine the purchaser’s government-issued photographic identification if the purchaser appears to be under 30 years of age.

Maine Enforcement:

ID check is required for any purchaser that appears to be under 30 years of age

Who is the Penalty Placed on?

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Best Practice:

The primary burden for sales to underage purchasers should fall on the retailer who is profiting from the sales of the product and not the purchaser or non-management employee.

Maine Enforcement:

Penalty placed on the retailer

Number of Compliance Checks

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Best Practice:

Provide authority for the state, county, or municipality to inspect tobacco retailers for compliance with MLSA 21 and a mandated minimum number of annual compliance checks. Model recommends two per year for every tobacco retail establishment.

Maine Enforcement:

Maine does not specify number of compliance checks

Compliance Checks Done With Underage Decoys Aged 18-20

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Best Practice:

The designated agency shall conduct compliance checks by engaging persons between the ages of 18 and 20 to enter the tobacco retail establishment to attempt to purchase tobacco products.

Maine Enforcement:

Decoy age is not specified

LICENSING
GRADE: B

Statewide Tobacco Retail License

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Best Practice:

A comprehensive tobacco retail license allows states and municipalities to regulate all tobacco retailers, fund enforcement programs, and create a penalty structure that suspends or revokes a license for retailers that continue to violate a MLSA 21 law.

Maine Licensing:

Maine has a statewide comprehensive Tobacco Retail License

Tobacco Retail License Program Funds Enforcement

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Best Practice

The fee for a tobacco retail sales license shall be set and used to cover the administrative cost for licensing administration, education and training, retail inspections, and unannounced compliance checks. The tobacco retail sales license fee should not exceed the cost of the regulatory program authorized beyond the statute/ordinance.

Maine Licensing:

Maine’s Tobacco Retail License fee partially funds the program

Tobacco Retail License Fee

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Best Practice:

An effective licensing system requires tobacco retailers to pay an annual license fee and allows it to be periodically adjusted. Fee must be adequate to cover License administration, education/training, and enforcement. An annual fee of lower than $300 is generally inadequate to fund a licensing program.

Maine Licensing:

Maine’s Tobacco Retail License fee is $50 – $150 based on percentage of sales are tobacco related and renews annually

PENALTIES
GRADE: C

Penalty Type

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Best Practice:

Establish a civil penalty structure for violations rather than a criminal penalty structure.

Maine Penalties:

Maine has a civil penalty structure

Violation Accrual Period

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Best Practice:

36 months

Maine Penalties:

Maine does not specify the length of the violation accrual period

Monetary Penalty and Suspension Structure

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Best Practice:

1st violation = $500
2nd violation = $750 and (7) day suspension
3rd violation = $1,000 and (30) day suspension
4th violation = $1000 and (3) year suspension

Maine Penalties:

1st Violation = fine of no less than $300 and no more than $600
2nd Violation and subsequent offenses = fine of no less than $1,000

Suspension or revocation of license is not specified in the penalty structure

Does the Law Penalize Youth for Purchase, Use or Possession

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Best Practice:

An evidence-based, best practices tobacco MLSA 21 policy should focus penalties on the tobacco retailer who profits from the illegal sale rather than the youth who is likely addicted to the product. PUP laws may be unlikely to reduce youth smoking significantly.

Maine Penalties:

Maine’s law penalizes youth for purchase, use, or possession (PUP) of tobacco products

PREEMPTION
GRADE: A

Does Preemption exist, was it added, or expanded

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Best Practice:

Local governments have a critical role in reducing the deadly toll of tobacco by regulating sales and restricting youth access to these products to prevent use and addiction.

Tobacco 21 legislation should not introduce new tobacco control preemption, nor expand existing tobacco control preemption, and instead should be used as an opportunity to assert local authority or repeal existing tobacco control preemption.

Maine Preemption:

Maine law does not preempt local authority to pass more stringent tobacco control laws

DEFINITIONS
GRADE: A

Definitions

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Best Practice:

A comprehensive definition will cover all current, known tobacco and nicotine products, which include not only cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco, but also products like pipes, rolling papers, electronic smoking devices, and other related devices. A strong definition will also be broad enough to capture future products.

Maine Definitions:

Maine’s Tobacco 21 law includes comprehensive definitions