This section of the Newspaper is brought to you by Sheriff “Jake” Kopec as to raise awareness of the West Virginia State Law and to educate the public in laws that are set forth by legislation. This month I would like to discuss “underage possession of tobacco”. It is important to know what your child may be facing if they are caught in possession of tobacco even in the form of a vape. Some may think that a vape is no big deal; however, vapes are illegal if possessed by a minor and will not be tolerated by law enforcement. It seems that vapes are gaining popularity amongst the teen crowd so this is an area that law enforcement is going to be cracking down on. If your son or daughter thinks it’s cool to vape ask them how cool they think they will look picking up trash along the road on their weekend off because if they are caught, they will be doing community service. It is our duty as citizens to follow the law and hopefully this article helps to make you aware of them.
- 16-9A-3. Use or possession of tobacco or tobacco products, alternative nicotine products or vapor products by persons under the age of 18 years; penalties.
A person under the age of 18 years shall not have on or about his or her person or premises or use any cigarette, or cigarette paper, or any other paper prepared, manufactured or made for the purpose of smoking any tobacco products, in any form; any pipe, snuff, chewing tobacco, tobacco product, or tobacco-derived product: Provided, that minors participating in the inspection of locations where tobacco products or tobacco-derived products are sold or distributed pursuant to §16-9A-7 of this code is not considered to violate the provisions of this section. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall for the first violation be fined $50 and be required to serve eight hours of community service; for a second violation, the person shall be fined $100 and be required to serve 16 hours of community service; and for a third and each subsequent violation, the person shall be fined $200 and be required to serve 24 hours of community service. Notwithstanding the provisions of §49-4-701 of this code, the magistrate court has concurrent jurisdiction.