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70.155.130  <<  70.155.140 >>   70.155.900

RCW 70.155.140

Shipping or transporting tobacco products ordered or purchased by mail or through the internet prohibited — Penalty.

(1) A person may not:

     (a) Ship or transport, or cause to be shipped or transported, any tobacco product ordered or purchased by mail or through the internet to anyone in this state other than a licensed wholesaler or retailer; or

     (b) With knowledge or reason to know of the violation, provide substantial assistance to a person who is in violation of this section.

     (2)(a) A person who knowingly violates subsection (1) of this section is guilty of a class C felony, except that the maximum fine that may be imposed is five thousand dollars.

     (b) In addition to or in lieu of any other civil or criminal remedy provided by law, a person who has violated subsection (1) of this section is subject to a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars for each violation. The attorney general, acting in the name of the state, may seek recovery of the penalty in a civil action in superior court. For purposes of this subsection, each shipment or transport of tobacco products constitutes a separate violation.

     (3) The attorney general may seek an injunction in superior court to restrain a threatened or actual violation of subsection (1) of this section and to compel compliance with subsection (1) of this section.

     (4) Any violation of subsection (1) of this section is not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business and is an unfair and deceptive act or practice and an unfair method of competition in the conduct of trade or commerce in violation of RCW 19.86.020. Standing to bring an action to enforce RCW 19.86.020 for violation of subsection (1) of this section lies solely with the attorney general. Remedies provided by chapter 19.86 RCW are cumulative and not exclusive.

     (5)(a) In any action brought under this section, the state is entitled to recover, in addition to other relief, the costs of investigation, expert witness fees, costs of the action, and reasonable attorneys' fees.

     (b) If a court determines that a person has violated subsection (1) of this section, the court shall order any profits, gain, gross receipts, or other benefit from the violation to be disgorged and paid to the state treasurer for deposit in the general fund.

     (6) Unless otherwise expressly provided, the penalties or remedies, or both, under this section are in addition to any other penalties and remedies available under any other law of this state.

[2009 c 278 § 2.]