26-57-262

Sale of export cigarettes.

(a) Findings and Purpose.

(1) Cigarette smoking presents serious public health concerns to the state and to the citizens of the state. The Surgeon General has determined that smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, and other serious diseases and that there are hundreds of thousands of tobacco-related deaths in the United States each year. These diseases most often do not appear until many years after the person in question begins smoking.

(2) It is the policy of the state that consumers be adequately informed about the adverse health effects of cigarette smoking by including warning notices on each package of cigarettes.

(3) It is the intent of the General Assembly to align state law with federal laws, regulations, and policies relating to the manufacture, importation, and marketing of cigarettes, and in particular, the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1331 et seq., and 26 U.S.C. § 5754.

(4) The General Assembly finds that consumers and retailers purchasing cigarettes are entitled to be fully informed about any adverse health effects of cigarette smoking by the inclusion of warning notices on each package of cigarettes and to be assured through appropriate enforcement measures that cigarettes they purchase were manufactured for consumption within the United States.

(b) Definitions. As used in this section:

(1) (A) "Cigarette" means any product that contains nicotine, is intended to be burned or heated under ordinary conditions of use, and consists of or contains:

(i) Any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or in any substance not containing tobacco;

(ii) Tobacco, in any form, that is functional in the product which, because of its appearance, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging and labeling is likely to be offered to or purchased by consumers as a cigarette; or

(iii) Any roll of tobacco wrapped in any substance containing tobacco which, because of its appearance, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging and labeling is likely to be offered to or purchased by consumers as a cigarette described in subdivision (b)(1)(A)(i) of this section.

(B) "Cigarette" includes "roll your own", which is any tobacco which, because of its appearance, type, packaging, or labeling is suitable for use and likely to be offered to or purchased by consumers as tobacco for making cigarettes.

(C) For purposes of this definition of "cigarette", nine one-hundredths of an ounce (0.09 oz.) of "roll your own" tobacco shall constitute one (1) individual "cigarette"; and

(2) "Package" means a pack, carton, or container of any kind in which cigarettes are offered for sale, sold, or otherwise distributed or intended for distribution to consumers.

(c) Tax Stamps. (1) No tax stamp may be affixed to or made upon any package of cigarettes if:

(A) The package differs in any respect with the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1331et seq., for the placement of labels, warnings, or any other information upon a package of cigarettes that is manufactured, packaged, or imported for sale, distribution, or use within the United States;

(B) The package is labeled "For Export Only", "U.S. Tax Exempt", "For Use Outside U.S.", or similar wording indicating that the manufacturer did not intend that the product be sold in the United States;

(C) The cigarettes in the package do not comply with any other applicable requirements imposed pursuant to federal law and federal implementing regulations;

(D) The package in any way violates federal trademark or copyright laws;

(E) The package or a package containing individually stamped packages has been altered by adding or deleting the wording, labels, or warnings described in this subdivision (c)(1); or

(F) With respect to the cigarettes, any person is not in compliance with 15 U.S.C. § 1335a relating to submission of ingredient information to federal authorities, 19 U.S.C. §§ 1681-1681b relating to imports of certain cigarettes, 26 U.S.C. § 5754, relating to previously exported tobacco products, or any other federal law or implementing federal regulations.

(2) Any person who sells or holds for sale cigarette packages to which is affixed a tax stamp in violation of this section shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in subdivision (c)(5) of this section.

(3) The Arkansas Tobacco Control Board may revoke a wholesale or retail license of any person who sells or holds for sale cigarette packages to which is affixed a tax stamp in violation of this section.

(4) The Department of Finance and Administration or the Director of Arkansas Tobacco Control may seize and destroy or sell to the manufacturer only for export packages that do not comply with this section.

(5) A violation of this section is a deceptive act or practice and shall constitute a Class A misdemeanor.

(6) On or before the <> fifteenth business day of each month, each person licensed to affix the state tax stamp to cigarettes shall file with the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration for all cigarettes imported into the United States to which the person has affixed the tax stamp in the preceding month copies of the customs certificates with respect to the cigarettes required to be submitted by 19 U.S.C. § 1681a(c).

(7) Any person who sells, distributes, or manufactures cigarettes and sustains direct economic or commercial injury as a result of a violation of this section may bring an action in good faith for appropriate injunctive relief.

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