Tobacco and vaping merchants are the first line of defense in keeping harmful products out of the hands of people who are under age to purchase them. On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21. FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available. FDA regulates all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, hookah tobacco, and cigars. If you sell tobacco products, you must comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations for retailers.

It is the responsibility of retailers and their employees to understand and comply with state and federal laws restricting the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including restrictions on the access to, and the advertising and promotion of, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products and vaping products.

This is our Watch Banner

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “This is Our Watch” Campaign for tobacco and vaping merchants is a great source of information on understanding youth tobacco and vaping laws, including retailer regulations and guidance, retailer training and enforcement, and retailer warning letters. Access the This is Our Watch site here.

Retailer Training by ATC Agents

ATC offers 90 minute face-to-face Merchant Education and Training sessions on federal and state tobacco laws. These training sessions allow retailers to participate in the training and allow attendees to interact with other participants and the presenter. To schedule a training event in your area, please call (573) 751-4092.

Forms of Identification

ATC recommends that retailers accept only government issued photographic identification with the bearer’s date of birth. These include state issued driver licenses or identification cards, military identification cards, passports or immigration cards to establish the person is 18 years of age or older to legally purchase tobacco or vaping products. Photo IDs are not an acceptable confirmation of age if the ID has expired.

For more information on Missouri driver licenses, check the Department of Revenue website here.

 

Clear the Air Image Missouri’s Clear the Air campaign warns Missouri youth about the health dangers of vaping and promotes vaping cessation programs.