Tobacco 21 - Retailer Information

Please find below frequently asked questions for retailers related to the Tobacco 21 ordinance. 

For the purpose of retail sales, how is “tobacco product” defined?

“Tobacco products” includes electronic smoking devices, as well as any product made or derived from tobacco or which contains nicotine, and any component or accessory used in the preparation or consumption of tobacco products, such as filters, rolling papers, pipes, and substances used in electronic smoking devices, whether or not they contain nicotine. Please see the ordinance for detailed descriptions.

What is the new minimum sales age for tobacco products and its effective date?

This ordinance bans sales of all tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21. It will become effective on April 13, 2017.

How will the new ordinance be enforced?

Enforcement will be similar as it has been for minimum sales age of 18, with unannounced inspections and youth decoy inspections.

Are tobacco cessation products included in the definition of “tobacco products”?

No. Tobacco product does not include drugs, devices, or combination products approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as those terms are defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Is there an exemption for military personnel, younger than 21 years of age?

No. The ordinance applies to all individuals, including military personnel, younger than 21.

Are clerks younger than 21 years of age permitted to sell tobacco products?

Yes. Clerks age 18 and older are permitted to sell tobacco products.

Are retailers required to post new age-of-sale warning signs, which indicate the minimum sale age for tobacco products?

Yes. All Tobacco Retailers in Lane County are required to conspicuously post a notice that is clearly visible to the seller and the purchaser at the location where Tobacco Products are available for purchase. Lane County Public Health will provide a notice that reads “The sale or provision of tobacco products, tobacco paraphernalia, and electronic smoking devices to persons under the age of 21 is prohibited by law” legibly printed in red letters at least one-half inch high.

Where can retailers obtain age-of-sale warning signs that are compliant with the ordinance? When will these signs be available?

Informational materials, along with 1 sign, will be sent to all tobacco retailers.

If my sign is lost, stolen or vandalized and I order a new sign, am I not in compliance with the ordinance while I wait for my replacement sign to arrive?

While waiting for a replacement sign to arrive, retailers should visit this page (see "Signage Posting Requirements" below) where a temporary, full-color sign can be printed and displayed in the interim.

What about people who are currently over 18 and able to buy? Is there some sort of grandfathering for them?

No. The ordinance applies to all youth under age 21. It becomes effective for everyone on April 13, 2017.

What forms of ID are considered valid ID for this ordinance?

Any valid government-issued photographic identification, i.e. driver’s license, passport.

Can I sell tobacco paraphernalia to individuals younger than 21 years of age? What is tobacco paraphernalia?

No. Tobacco paraphernalia includes any component or accessory used in the preparation or consumption of tobacco products, such as filters, rolling papers, pipes, and substances used in electronic smoking devices, whether or not they contain nicotine.

Can I sell a component, part or accessory of an electronic cigarette (such as an atomizer) to someone who is 18 years of age?

No.

Can I sell matches or lighters to someone who is 18 years of age?

Yes.

What are the fines and penalties for selling tobacco products to persons younger than 21 years of age?

Fines for violations will be assessed on employers or owners. First violation by store: $1650; second or subsequent violation $4950; Managerial employees may be fined up to $500 for a first or second violation, and up to $1000 for a third or subsequent violation. Non managerial employees or clerks may be fined $50. See ordinance for more detailed description.

Does Lane County’s minimum sale age requirement apply to the sale of shisha?

Yes. Shisha is a water pipe used for smoking tobacco. The name is also sometimes used in the US to name tobacco containing products used in water pipes.

Can retailers sell, give, rent, or furnish electronic smoking devices, hookah, or other smoking equipment to individuals younger than 21 years of age?

No.

I am a tobacco retailer that sells non-tobacco items such as books, toys, and incense. Can I let individuals under 21 enter my store and can these individuals purchase these items?

Yes.

Signage Posting Requirements


All Tobacco Retailers in Lane County are required to conspicuously post a notice that is clearly visible to the seller and the purchaser at the location where Tobacco Products are available for purchase. One sign will be provided to each retailer. If you need to print a temporary, full-color sign, please click the image below to open a PDF for printing. 
Tobacco 21 Retailer Sign

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