Chapter 121—Cigarette and Tobacco Permits

121.01 Definitions
121.02 Permit Required
121.03 Application
121.04 Fees
121.05 Issuance and Expiration
121.06 Refunds
121.07 Persons Under Legal Age
121.08 Self-Service Sales Prohibited
121.09 Permit Revocation

121.01 DEFINITIONS.

For use in this chapter the following terms are defined:
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 453A.1)

  1. “Carton” means a box or container of any kind in which ten or more packages or packs of cigarettes or tobacco products are offered for sale, sold, or otherwise distributed to consumers.
  2. “Cigarette” means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco, or any substitute for tobacco, irrespective of size or shape and irrespective of tobacco or any substitute for tobacco being flavored, adulterated or mixed with any other ingredient, where such roll has a wrapper or cover made of paper or any other material. However, this definition is not to be construed to include cigars.
  3. “Package” or “pack” means a container of any kind in which cigarettes or tobacco products are offered for sale, sold, or otherwise distributed to consumers.
  4. “Place of business” means any place where cigarettes or tobacco products are sold, stored or kept for the purpose of sale or consumption by a retailer.
  5. “Retailer” means every person who sells, distributes or offers for sale for consumption, or possesses for the purpose of sale for consumption, cigarettes, irrespective of the quantity or amount or the number of sales or who engages in the business of selling tobacco products to ultimate consumers.
  6. “Self-service display” means any manner of product display, placement, or storage from which a person purchasing the product may take possession of the product, prior to purchase, without assistance from the retailer or employee of the retailer, in removing the product from a restricted access location.
  7. “Tobacco products” means the following: cigars; little cigars; cheroots; stogies; periques; granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed and other smoking tobacco; snuff; cavendish; plug and twist tobacco; fine-cut and other chewing tobaccos; shorts or refuse scraps, clippings, cuttings and sweepings of tobacco; and other kinds and forms of tobacco prepared in such manner as to be suitable for chewing or smoking in a pipe or otherwise, or for both chewing and smoking, but does not mean cigarettes.
121.02 PERMIT REQUIRED.
  1. Cigarette Permits. It is unlawful for any person, other than a holder of a retail permit, to sell cigarettes at retail and no retailer shall distribute, sell, or solicit the sale of any cigarettes within the City without a valid permit for each place of business. The permit shall, at all times, be publicly displayed at the place of business so as to be easily seen by the public and the persons authorized to inspect the place of business. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 453A.13)
  2. Tobacco Permits. It is unlawful for any person to engage in the business of a retailer of tobacco products at any place of business without first having received a permit as a tobacco products retailer for each place of business owned or operated by the retailer. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 453A.47A)

A retailer who holds a cigarette permit is not required to also obtain a tobacco permit. However, if a retailer only holds a cigarette permit and that permit is suspended, revoked, or expired, the retailer shall not sell any cigarettes or tobacco products during such time.

121.03 APPLICATION.

A completed application on forms furnished by the State Department of Revenue or on forms made available or approved by the Department and accompanied by the required fee shall be filed with the Clerk. Renewal applications shall be filed at least five (5) days prior to the last regular meeting of the Council in June. If a renewal application is not timely filed, and a special Council meeting is called to act on the application, the costs of such special meeting shall be paid by the applicant.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 453A.13 & 453A.47A)

121.04 FEES.

The fee for a retail cigarette or tobacco permit shall be as follows:
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 453A.13 & 453A.47A)

FOR PERMITS GRANTED DURING: FEE:
July, August or September $ 75.00
October, November or December $ 56.25
January, February or March $ 37.50
April, May or June $ 18.75

121.05 ISSUANCE AND EXPIRATION.

Upon proper application and payment of the required fee, a permit shall be issued. Each permit issued shall describe clearly the place of business for which it is issued and shall be nonassignable. All permits expire on June 30 of each year. The Clerk shall submit a duplicate of any application for a permit, and any permit issued, to the Iowa Department of Public Health within thirty (30) days of issuance.

121.06 REFUNDS.

A retailer may surrender an unrevoked permit and receive a refund from the City, except during April, May, or June, in accordance with the schedule of refunds as provided in Section 453A.13 or 453A.47A of the Code of Iowa.
(Code of Iowa, 453A.13 & 453A.47A)

121.07 PERSONS UNDER LEGAL AGE.

No person shall sell, give, or otherwise supply any tobacco, tobacco products, or cigarettes to any person under eighteen (18) years of age. The provision of this section includes prohibiting a minor from purchasing cigarettes or tobacco products from a vending machine. If a retailer or employee of a retailer violates the provisions of this section, the Council shall, after written notice and hearing, and in addition to the other penalties fixed for such violation, assess the following:

  1. For a first violation, the retailer shall be assessed a civil penalty in the amount of three hundred dollars ($300.00). Failure to pay the civil penalty as ordered under this subsection shall result in automatic suspension of the permit for a period of fourteen (14) days.
  2. For a second violation within a period of two years, the retailer shall be assessed a civil penalty in the amount of one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00) or the retailer’s permit shall be suspended for a period of thirty (30) days. The retailer may select its preference in the penalty to be applied under this subsection.
  3. For a third violation within a period of three years, the retailer shall be assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $1,500.00 and the retailer’s permit shall be suspended for a period of 30 days.
  4. For a fourth violation within a period of three years, the retailer shall be assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $1,500.00 and the retailer’s permit shall be suspended for a period of sixty (60) days.
  5. For a fifth violation with a period of four years, the retailer’s permit shall be revoked.

The Clerk shall give ten (10) days’ written notice to the retailer by mailing a copy of the notice to the place of business as it appears on the application for a permit. The notice shall state the reason for the contemplated action and the time and place at which the retailer may appear and be heard.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 453A.2, 453A.22 and 453A.36[6])

121.08 SELF-SERVICE SALES PROHIBITED.

Beginning January 1, 1999, except for the sale of cigarettes through a cigarette vending machine as provided in Section 453A.36(6) of the Code of Iowa, a retailer shall not sell or offer for sale cigarettes or tobacco products, in a quantity of less than a carton, through the use of a self-service display.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 453A.36A)

121.09 PERMIT REVOCATION.

Following a written notice and an opportunity for a hearing, as provided by the Code of Iowa, the Council may also revoke a permit issued pursuant to this chapter for a violation of Division I of Chapter 453A of the Code of Iowa or any rule adopted thereunder. If a permit is revoked, a new permit shall not be issued to the permit holder for any place of business, or to any other person for the place of business at which the violation occurred, until one year has expired from the date of revocation, unless good cause to the contrary is shown to the Council. The Clerk shall report the revocation or suspension of a retail permit to the Iowa Department of Public Health within thirty (30) days of the revocation or suspension.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 453A.22)