Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act (ATUPA)

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 persons under 21 years of age.  The Chemung County Health Department (CCHD) is responsible for the enforcement of ATUPA in Chemung County.

The sale of tobacco products, herbal cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, bidis, liquid nicotine or rolling papers to persons under 21 years of age is prohibited by law.

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.  However, key provisions of the law are summarized below.

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 1 year by the NYS Department of Taxation & Finance.  Also, if the facility has a lottery license, that too will be suspended for a period of 1year.

We solicit the assistance of individuals less than 21 years old to conduct compliance checks.  They undergo training about ATUPA and are accompanied by an adult during the compliance check.  The person under 21 will attempt to purchase a tobacco or other product.  The facility selling tobacco or other product is required to ask for photo identification indicating the age of the purchaser. If a facility sells a tobacco product to the individual under 21, 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 $1,500.  For subsequent offenses, the minimum penalty is $1000 and the maximum penalty per violation is $2,500.  There is also a State-mandated surcharge of $250 added to each penalty.

If found guilty of ANY four violations of this law within a three-year period, the enforcement officer will direct the one-year revocation of the facility’s registration to sell tobacco products and herbal cigarettes and/or vapor products, and lottery license, if they have one. This will occur in addition to imposing a fine and a surcharge, and even if points were assigned for any sale to an individual under 21 years of age.

The sale of flavored vapor products restricted under the law will result in a fine of up to $100 for each individual package of flavored vapor product sold or offered for sale.

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