Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion  

Tobacco Retail Information

Information for Tobacco Product Retailers

Federal law and policy affect tobacco product retailers in Alaska. To keep Alaskans informed, this page is updated with the most current information.

Tobacco 21: Age to Purchase Tobacco Products

The Alaska Business Licensing Act, located at Title 43, chapter 70 of the Alaska Statutes, requires a business license endorsement for each location where tobacco products, electronic smoking products, or nicotine products are sold. This used to be known as a “tobacco endorsement.” The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, Division of Corporations, Business, & Professional Licensing issues endorsements to businesses.

On December 20, 2019, federal law was changed to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to age 21.

After reviewing the federal law, the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development determined that: “The minimum age to buy tobacco products, electronic smoking devices, or products containing nicotine is now 21; it is unlawful for any retailer to sell tobacco products, electronic smoking products, or products containing nicotine to any person younger than 21 years of age,” even though Alaska state law lists the minimum age as 19.

This determination and other helpful information about business licensing requirements and tobacco sales can be found at the business licensing endorsement frequently asked questions (FAQs)

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 or call 1-800- 463-6332.

Click here to find information on FDA enforcement priorities for ENDS products

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