TRIP enforces Indiana Codes (IC): 35-46-1-10, which establishes progressive penalties for retailers and clerks who sell tobacco to anyone under the age of 18, and 35-46-1-11, which fines retailers who fail to post mandatory signage regarding tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 18.
Contracting with off-duty police officers and the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University, the Indiana State Excise Police utilizes inspection teams made up of young people aged 15, 16, or 17, and adult monitors.
These teams conduct unannounced inspections of retail outlets that sell tobacco throughout Indiana. The youths attempt to purchase cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, or cigars. If a sale is made, the officer immediately issues a notice of violation to the storeowner and clerk.
The Alcohol & Tobacco Commission prosecutor issues notices of civil monetary penalty and handles prosecution of violators. Penalties may range from $200 to $1000 depending on the number of infractions committed.
Sales: The sale of tobacco to underage youth is a Class C infraction. Retailers and clerks in violation are subject to prosecution and penalties imposed by the county where the infraction occurred.
Signage: The failure to post and maintain a sign, printed in letters at least one-half inch high, reading:
is a Class C infraction carrying a fine of up to $500.
1999: TRIP was originally funded through a contract with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce federal regulations prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to young people.
2000: The Supreme Court ruled that the FDA had no authority to regulate tobacco and the FDA program stopped. After a redesign, Indiana TRIP resumed under the leadership of the Family and Social Services Administration, Division of Mental Health and Addiction.
2001: Indiana TRIP was reassigned to the Indiana State Excise Police and funded by the Indiana Tobacco Prevention Cessation Agency.
For more information on TRIP, contact TRIP Project Director, Major Robin Poindexter of the Indiana State Excise Police.
For more information on smoking, tobacco, and health, contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 1-800-CDC-1311 or http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco