MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A vote on a statewide bill to increase penalties for providing tobacco to minors was postponed from Monday to today so a smokeless-tobacco tax could be included.
West Virginia has a tax of 17 cents per pack on cigarettes, but it has no tax on chewing tobacco or other smokeless products, said state Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley.
Unger said Senate Minority Leader Vic Sprouse, R-Kanawha, is adding a tax on smokeless tobacco products to a bill Unger is co-sponsoring.
Unger's bill would boost the fines for stores that sell tobacco to people under 18.
Individual clerks and customers who buy tobacco products on minors' behalf would also be penalized. Sellers and providers could serve time in jail if they're convicted more than once.