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Tobacco Retailers

New Tobacco 21 Law Goes into Effect June 9, 2016.
Resources are now available

Beginning June 9, 2016, a new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown, goes into effect raising the minimum age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21, except for active duty military personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces. Please note that electronic smoking devices are included in the definition of tobacco products. This means products such as e-cigarettes, e-hookah, vape pens, vaping devices, mods, e-liquids, hookah, cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos/little cigars, chewing tobacco, snus, and pipe tobacco are covered by the law.

  • Minimum sale of for tobacco has changed from 18 years old to 21. Retailers must check the ID of anyone who looks younger than 21. See the California Department of Public Health website for full resources including this letter to all retailers.
  • Tobacco products now include all electronic smoking devices or accessories. Click here for a guide to products covered under the new law. These products cannot be sold in a self-service display.
  • Age of Sale Warning sign available here
    This age-of-sale sign meets legal requirements for the wording, font size, and size of the sign. Printing Instructions: Please print this sign at 100%. Do not reduce or enlarge the size of this sign. This sign is 10.2 inches wide by 4.4 inches high. Do not print this sign using the "Fit", "Shrink oversized pages", or "Custom Scale" options in the print dialogue box. Download and post this sign at each cash register. This is a temporary sign to be used until the printed signs are mailed to you. Adhesive-backed signs are being mailed to retailers during the month of June 2016.

All tobacco retailers in Unincorporated Contra Costa must obtain a Tobacco Retailer License for each location each year through the Treasurer-Tax Collector's Office—Business License Tax Division. If a retailer sells tobacco without a valid or current license, the retailer can be cited and/or fined and if the retailer violates any federal, state or local tobacco control law, their license may be suspended. For more information, contact 888-877-4202 or email

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