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Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion 

Tobacco Retail Information

New Information for Tobacco Product Retailers

Recent changes to federal law and policy affect tobacco product retailers in Alaska. To keep Alaskans informed, this page will be updated with the most current information as it becomes available.

Tobacco 21: 
Raising the Age to Purchase Tobacco Products to 21

President Trump signed a federal law that raised the legal age to purchase tobacco products to age 21 on December 20, 2019. Retailers must not sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.

FDA has free resources available to assist retailers in calculating the age of customers. Retailers who use FDA’s This is Our Watch digital age verification calendar may update the minimum purchase age on the calendar to 21 years. Instructions on how to update the age on the digital calendar are available on FDA’s website. Retailers who would like a This is Our Watch digital age verification calendar may order one free of charge from FDA's Center for Tobacco Products Exchange Lab. Additionally, retailers who use FDA’s Age Calculator app should update the age limit to 21 years through the app settings. Instructions are provided within the help feature of the app.

To find FDA information on the federal legal minimum age to purchase tobacco products, click here>

Flavor Restrictions:
Enforcement Toward Flavored Products and Other Products Used by Minors

FDA has announced new enforcement policies for certain Electronic Nicotine Devices (ENDS) products. This is another term for electronic smoking devices such as e-cigarettes. FDA requires a review process (“premarket authorization”) for these products before they go on the market, and currently no ENDS products have been authorized by the FDA. This means that all ENDS products currently on the market are already considered illegally marketed and are subject to enforcement at FDA’s discretion.

Beginning February 6, 2020, FDA intends to prioritize enforcement against illegally marketed ENDS products by focusing on the following groups of products:

  • Any flavored, cartridge-based ENDS product, other than a tobacco- or menthol- flavored ENDS product
  • All other ENDS products for which the manufacturer has failed to take adequate measures to prevent minors’ access
  • Any ENDS product that is targeted to minors or likely to promote use of ENDS by minors

For more information, contact the FDA at AskCTP@fda.hhs.gov or call 1-800- 463-6332.

To find information on FDA enforcement priorities for ENDS products, click here>

Poison Control:
Packaging to Prevent Child Nicotine Poisoning

The Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act of 2015 required that any liquid nicotine container sold, offered for sale, manufactured for sale, distributed in commerce or imported into the United States be in special packaging. The packaging must be designed to prevent children from accidentally accessing and ingesting liquid nicotine, and must restrict the flow of liquid nicotine under specific conditions.

For information on packaging requirements or enforcement of this law, go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission Liquid Nicotine Packaging Business Guidance web page>

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