210.185 Prohibition on sale or distribution of cigarettes; criminal penalties;
administrative sanctions; applicability
(1) PROHIBITIONS.—It is unlawful for any person:
(a) To sell or distribute in this state; to acquire, hold, own, possess,
or transport, for sale or distribution in this state; or to import, or
cause to be imported, into this state for sale or distribution in this state:
1. Any cigarettes the package of which:
a. Bears any statement, label, stamp, sticker, or notice indicating that
the manufacturer did not intend the cigarettes to be sold, distributed,
or used in the United States, including but not limited to labels stating
“For Export Only,” “U.S. Tax-Exempt,” “For
Use Outside U.S.,” or similar wording; or
b. Does not comply with:
(I) All requirements imposed by or under federal law regarding warnings
and other information on packages of cigarettes manufactured, packaged,
or imported for sale, distribution, or use in the United States, including
but not limited to the precise warning labels specified in the Federal
Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 1333; and
(II) All federal trademark and copyright laws;
2. Any cigarettes imported into the United States in violation of 26 U.S.C.
s. 5754 or any other federal law, or implementing federal regulations;
3. Any cigarettes that a person otherwise knows or has reason to know the
manufacturer did not intend to be sold, distributed, or used in the United
4. Any cigarettes for which there has not been submitted to the Secretary
of the United States Department of Health and Human Services the list
or lists of the ingredients added to tobacco in the manufacture of those
cigarettes required by the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising
Act, 15 U.S.C. s. 1335a;
(b) To alter the package of any cigarettes, before sale or distribution
to the ultimate consumer, so as to remove, conceal, or obscure any statement,
label, stamp, sticker, or notice described in sub-subparagraph (a)1.a.
or any health warning that is not specified in or does not conform with
the requirements of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act,
15 U.S.C. s. 1333;
(c) To affix any stamp required under this part to the package of any cigarettes
described in paragraph (a) or altered in violation of paragraph (b).
(2) DOCUMENTATION.—On or before the 10th day of each month, each
person permitted to affix the tax stamp to cigarettes shall file with
the division, for all cigarettes imported into the United States to which
the person has affixed the tax stamp in the preceding month, a copy of
the permit issued under the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. s. 5713,
to the person importing the cigarettes into the United States which allows
that person to import those cigarettes; a copy of the customs form containing,
with respect to the cigarettes, the internal revenue tax information required
by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; and a statement,
signed by an officer of the manufacturer or importer under penalty of
perjury, certifying that the manufacturer or importer has complied with
the package health warning and ingredient reporting requirements of the
Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, 15 U.S.C. ss. 1333 and
1335a, with respect to those cigarettes.
(3) CRIMINAL PENALTIES.—Any person who violates subsection (1), either
knowing or having reason to know he or she is doing so, or who fails to
comply with subsection (2), commits a felony of the third degree, punishable
as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) ADMINISTRATIVE SANCTIONS.—
(a) The division may revoke or suspend the permit of any distributing agent
or wholesale dealer, or the retail tobacco dealer permit of any retailer,
and impose on the permittee a civil penalty, in an amount not to exceed
the greater of 500 percent of the retail value of the cigarettes involved
or $5,000, upon finding a violation of this section or any implementing
rule adopted by the division.
(b) Cigarettes that are acquired, held, owned, possessed, transported in,
imported into, or sold or distributed in this state in violation of this
section are considered contraband and are subject to seizure and forfeiture
under this part. Any cigarettes so seized and forfeited shall be destroyed.
The cigarettes are considered contraband whether the violation of this
section is knowing or otherwise.
(5) UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES.—A violation of subsection (1) or subsection
(2) constitutes an unlawful trade practice under part II of chapter 501
and, in addition to any remedies or penalties set forth in this section
is subject to any remedies or penalties available for a violation of that part.
(6) GENERAL PROVISIONS.—
(a) The division shall enforce this section. However, at the request of
the division, any law enforcement agency shall enforce this section.
(b) For the purpose of enforcing this act, the division and any agency
to which the division has delegated enforcement responsibility may request
information from any state or local agency, and may share information
with, and request information from, any federal agency or any agency of
any other state or any local agency thereof.
(c) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, including enforcement
as provided in paragraph (a), any person may bring an action for appropriate
injunctive or other equitable relief for a violation of this section;
for actual damages, if any, sustained by reason of the violation; and,
as determined by the court, for interest on the damages from the date
of the complaint, taxable costs, and reasonable attorney’s fees.
If the trier of fact finds that the violation is flagrant, it may increase
recovery to an amount not in excess of 3 times the actual damages sustained
by reason of the violation.
(7) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Cigarette” means:
1. Any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or tobacco leaf or in any substance
not containing tobacco, including a bidi, kretek, or other similar product,
which is to be burned;
2. Any roll of tobacco wrapped in any substance containing tobacco, including
a bidi, kretek, or other similar product, which, because of its appearance,
the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging or labeling is
likely to be offered to or purchased by consumers as a cigarette described
in subparagraph 1.; or
3. Loose rolling tobacco that, because of its appearance, type, packaging,
or labeling, is likely to be offered to or purchased by consumers as tobacco
for making cigarettes.
(b) “Importer” means “importer” as that term is
defined in 26 U.S.C. s. 5702(l).
(c) “Package” means “package” as that term is defined
in 15 U.S.C. s. 1332(4).
(a) This section does not apply to cigarettes allowed to be imported or
brought into the United States for personal use and cigarettes sold or
intended to be sold as duty-free merchandise by a duty-free sales enterprise
in accordance with 19 U.S.C. s. 1555(b) and any implementing regulations,
but this section does apply to any such cigarettes that are brought back
into the customs territory for resale within the customs territory.
(b) The penalties provided in this section are in addition to any penalties
imposed under any other law.