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Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act (ATUPA)

ATUPA is an act that amends public health law and the tax law in relation to the sale of tobacco products to minors.  The Chemung County Health Department (CCHD) is responsible for the enforcement of ATUPA in Chemung County.

The sale of cigarettes, cigars, bidis, chewing tobacco, powdered tobacco, nicotine water or other tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, rolling papers or pipes, to persons under 21 years of age is prohibited by law.

Electronic cigarettes or "e-cigarettes" have been added to the list of products that are prohibited to be sold to persons under 21 years of age.  All rules that apply to the sale of tobacco also apply to e-cigarettes. 

No person operating a business that sells tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, or e-cigarettes shall display such product unless they are located behind a counter in an area only accessible to the personnel of the business or in a locked container.

The section of NYS Public Health Law addressing the sale of tobacco to minors is found in Article 13-F.  To download a copy of Article 13-F, click here.

CCHD conducts "compliance checks" annually at each facility licensed to sell tobacco products.  A "point" system has been established whereby points are assessed against facilities that are found to be in violation of the law.  Any facility that has points on their record will get at least 3 compliance checks per year.  Points stay on record for a facility for three years.  If 3 or more points are accumulated, the license to sell tobacco products will be suspended for 6 months by the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance.  Also, if the facility has a lottery license, that too will be suspended for a period of 6 months.

We solicit the assistance of minors to conduct compliance checks.  The minors undergo training about ATUPA and are accompanied by an adult during the compliance check.  The minor will attempt to purchase a tobacco product.  The facility selling tobacco is required to ask for photo identification indicating the age of the purchaser. If a facility sells a tobacco product to a minor, an enforcement action will be initiated against the selling facility in the form of a Stipulation Offer.  A Stipulation Offer is a Notice of Violation with an offer for the respondent to stipulate to the violation and pay a penalty lesser than the maximum allowed.  More information about Stipulation Offers can be found on the Enforcement page of this website.

For a 1st time offense, the minimum penalty is $300 and the maximum is $1,000.  For subsequent offenses, the minimum penalty is $500 and the maximum penalty per violation is $1,500.  There is also a State-mandated surcharge of $50 added to each penalty.

ATUPA violations are listed on the Enforcement page of this website.

Chemung County Health Center
103 Washington Street
Elmira, NY

Public Health

Environmental Health
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