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RULE §3.1203Approved Seller Training Programs

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms when used in this section have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Cigar--A roll of fermented tobacco that is wrapped in tobacco and the main stream of smoke from which produces an alkaline reaction to litmus paper.

  (2) Cigarette--A roll for smoking:

    (A) that is made of tobacco or tobacco mixed with another ingredient and wrapped or covered with a material other than tobacco; and

    (B) that is not a cigar.

  (3) E-cigarette--An electronic cigarette or any other device that simulates smoking by using a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit to deliver nicotine or other substances to the individual inhaling from the device; or a consumable liquid solution or other material aerosolized or vaporized during the use of an electronic cigarette or other device described by this paragraph.

    (A) The term "e-cigarette" includes:

      (i) a device described by this paragraph regardless of whether the device is manufactured, distributed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, or e-pipe or under another product name or description; and

      (ii) a component, part, or accessory for the device, regardless of whether the component, part, or accessory is sold separately from the device.

    (B) The term "e-cigarette" does not include a prescription medical device unrelated to the cessation of smoking.

  (4) Minor--A person under 21 years of age.

  (5) Second party sales--Sales that result in the provision of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to a minor, even though the purchaser of those products is not necessarily a minor.

  (6) Seller--Any person who sells cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products in Texas.

  (7) Tobacco product--A tobacco product is:

    (A) a cigar;

    (B) smoking tobacco, including granulated, plug-cut, crimp-cut, ready-rubbed, and any form of tobacco suitable for smoking in a pipe or as a cigarette;

    (C) chewing tobacco, including Cavendish, Twist, plug, scrap, and any kind of tobacco suitable for chewing;

    (D) snuff or other preparations of pulverized tobacco; or

    (E) an article or product that is made of tobacco or a tobacco substitute and that is not a cigarette or an e-cigarette.

(b) Application process. In order for a vendor to be certified to provide employers and employees engaged in the retail sales of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products with training regarding provisions in Health and Safety Code, Chapter 161 and in Tax Code, Chapters 154 and 155, regarding regulation of sales, distribution, and use of tobacco products, the vendor's training program must meet the minimum curriculum requirements established by the comptroller and be certified by the comptroller. Vendors must make application to the comptroller's office on a prescribed application form. The comptroller's office will review qualified applications and certify vendors interested in providing a seller training program.

(c) Curriculum information. Vendors interested in obtaining certification must apply in writing and provide a written description detailing curriculum information, including:

  (1) the presentation;

  (2) specific course objectives;

  (3) academic content;

  (4) learning activities;

  (5) audio-visual materials, if any;

  (6) written materials (including instructor manual and participant workbook); and

  (7) course evaluation or feedback forms.

(d) Curriculum requirements. The curriculum of the training program presented should include, but is not limited to, the following components.

  (1) Component One--tobacco-related health hazards. Statistical information regarding tobacco-related health hazards as published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must be included in this component.

  (2) Component Two--federal and state laws. Discussion and comparison of the provisions of current federal law with the provisions of current state law pertaining to minors and cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products must be included in this component. In particular, this component must include a review and explanation of all provisions relating to:

    (A) prohibiting the distribution of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to minors;

    (B) prohibiting the purchase, possession, or consumption of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products by minors (citing examples of tobacco products included);

    (C) the warning notice signs for retail locations;

    (D) statistics on cigarette, e-cigarette, and tobacco usage by adults and minors; and

    (E) the placement of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products in retail locations.

  (3) Component Three--detection of minors. This component must identify and discuss:

    (A) observation techniques for determining when a customer is a minor;

    (B) common physical and behavioral signs of underage status; and

    (C) behaviors indicative of adolescence, including current clothing trends and fads, and physical appearance preferences, according to generally recognized experts in the field.

  (4) Component Four--personal identification. This component must:

    (A) identify, discuss, and provide actual samples of acceptable forms of identification, including, but not limited to:

      (i) a valid state driver's license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety; and

      (ii) other state or U.S. government issued forms of identification (with photograph);

    (B) identify, discuss, and provide actual samples of unacceptable forms of identification including, but not limited to:

      (i) a temporary state driver's license;

      (ii) a birth certificate;

      (iii) a school or work ID;

      (iv) a social security card; and

      (v) a professionally printed identification card.

    (C) explain how to detect invalid identification documents used in attempts to establish proof of age and provide examples of the following:

      (i) unofficial documents that look similar to official documents;

      (ii) types of document counterfeiting and alteration; and

      (iii) warning signs of document counterfeiting and alterations.

  (5) Component Five--second party sales. This component must:

    (A) explain and define second party sales; and

    (B) provide examples of second party sales including, but not limited to, the following:

      (i) a minor loitering outside a store in the store parking lot;

      (ii) a minor loitering around a store, either inside or outside, after having been refused a cigarette, e-cigarette, or tobacco product purchase; and

      (iii) a minor randomly approaching an adult customer to solicit the adult customer to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products and giving the adult customer money.

  (6) Component Six--refusing a sale. This component must:

    (A) identify and discuss techniques to prevent an illegal sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to a minor or second party;

    (B) identify and discuss techniques to terminate an illegal sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products to a minor or second party; and

    (C) provide examples of words and actions that may be used by a seller to amicably avoid or terminate illegal attempts to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or tobacco products by a minor.

(e) Class length. The time length of the seller training class should be a minimum of two actual clock hours, including class breaks.

(f) Notice of certification or denial. The comptroller shall notify each applicant with a letter of certification or denial, including reasons for the denial, within 15 business days from the date the application is received by the comptroller. The certification or denial letter will be mailed to the address on the vendor's application.

(g) Certification. A qualified vendor is certified to provide seller training until the certification expires under subsection (h) of this section or is revoked or suspended by the comptroller.

(h) Recertification of curriculum.

  (1) Every two years, a previously certified vendor must submit a new application to ensure the vendor's course curriculum aligns with federal law, state law, and policy changes relating to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products.


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