§16-9A-9. Selling of bidis prohibited; penalties.

(a) The Legislature finds that young people in this state have been enticed into smoking or using tobacco products by first using or experimenting with hand-rolled, flavored tobacco products called "bidis" or "beedies." Recognizing that the use of bidis is an emerging public health problem, the Legislature hereby adopts a public policy that the tobacco products known as "bidis" should not be imported, sold or distributed in the State of West Virginia.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person or business entity shall possess, import, sell, offer for sale or distribute any tobacco product commonly referred to as "bidis" or "beedies."

(c) For purposes of this section, "bidis" or "beedies" means a product containing tobacco that is wrapped in temburni leaf or leaves (diospyros melanoxylon) or tendu leaf or leaves (diospyros exculpra), or any other product or substance that is offered to or purchased by consumers as bidis or beedies. As used in this section, the terms "bidis" and "beedies" have the same meaning and may be used interchangeably.

(d) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500; and upon a second or subsequent conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 for each offense, or confined in a county or regional jail not more than six months, or both.

Bill History For §16-9A-9