The STAKE Act
The STAKE Act (Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement) was enacted in 1994 to assist California in complying with federal regulations, particularly the "Synar Amendment," that restrict tobacco sales to minors, that require states to vigorously enforce their own laws on this subject, and that allow states to obtain funding from a multi-billion dollar litigation settlement reached between several tobacco companies and several state attorneys general in the 1990's. (See 22951 Stats. 1994, ch. 1009, 1, p. 5987; People ex rel. Lockyer v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (2004) 116 Cal.App.4th 1253, 1257-1259; 42 U.S.C. 300x-26; 45 C.F.R. 96.130 (2009).)
The STAKE Act allows an "enforcing agency," which includes a city or county, to "assess civil penalties specified in the act against any person, firm, or corporation that sells, gives, or in any way furnishes to another person who is under the age of 18 years" a tobacco product. ( 22958, subd. (a); see 22950.5, subd. (b).)
The civil penalties under the act range from $ 400 to $ 600 for the first violation to $ 5,000 to $ 6,000 for a fifth or subsequent violation "within a five-year period." ( 22958, subd. (a).)
The STAKE Act does not include a general provision covering preemption but does set forth an extensive role for local agencies to play in tobacco retailing.
To take one example, aside from STAKE's recognition that an "enforcing agency" under the act includes a city attorney or a county counsel, STAKE's legislative findings and declarations state, in part: "Full compliance and vigorous enforcement of the 'Synar Amendment' federal law covering the 1990's settlement agreement noted above requires the collaboration of multiple state and local agencies that license, inspect, or otherwise conduct business with retailers ... that sell tobacco." ( 22951.)