What is considered a tobacco product?

  • Bidis, cigars, cheroots, stogies, periques, granulated, plug cut, crimp cut, ready rubbed and other smoking tobacco, snuff, snuff flour, cavendish, plug and twist tobacco, fine-cut and other chewing tobaccos, shorts, refuse scraps, clippings, cuttings and sweepings of tobacco and other forms of tobacco; prepared in a manner that makes the tobacco suitable for chewing or smoking in a pipe or otherwise, or for both chewing and smoking
  • Cigarettes
  • Vape products like e-liquids or juice, containing nicotine or no-nicotine
  • Devices that can be used to deliver tobacco to the person using the device

What is an inhalant delivery system?

A device that can be used to deliver nicotine, no-nicotine or cannabinoids in the form of a vapor or aerosol to a person who inhales from it.

A component of a device, or a substance in any form sold for the purpose of being vaporized or aerosolized by a device, regardless of whether or not it’s sold separately.

Who enforces the minimum sales age law?

Multnomah County Health Department’s Tobacco Control and Prevention Program will begin youth inspections in late January 2018. Businesses will be notified of the inspection results.

Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division works with the Oregon State Police to conduct state-sponsored compliance inspections. The law is also enforced by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

Can clerks under the age of 21 sell tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems?

Yes. The law does not specify an age requirement for retail clerks.

I sell glass pipes and other smoking paraphernalia. May I sell these items to people under the age of 21?

No. Senate Bill 754 amended the definition of tobacco products to include “a device that can be used to deliver tobacco products to a person using the device.” It’s illegal to knowingly distribute, sell or allow these devices to be sold to a person under 21.

What about lighters?

Lighters are not considered tobacco, a vape product or smoking paraphernalia. They can be stored on the counter and sold to people under 21 years old.

I sell glass pipes and other smoking paraphernalia. May people under the age of 21 enter my store?

Yes, but ALL tobacco products, devices, and inhalant delivery systems must be in a location where they are NOT accessible by customers without the assistance of a store employee. This means behind the counter or in a locked container that customers cannot easily access. Retail locations that do not allow anyone under 21 years old to enter don't have to follow this rule.

Can I keep tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems on the counter?

No. The ONLY exception is if your store restricts entry to people under 21 years old. If anyone under 21 years old can enter your store, you need to keep all tobacco and vape products behind the counter, or in a locked container that customers cannot easily access.

Are retailers required to post signs with updated sales age requirements?

Yes. All tobacco retailers must display a sign clearly stating that the sale of tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems to persons under the age of 21 is prohibited by law. Get signs from the Oregon Health Authority».

What if I suspect a customer is buying tobacco products or inhalant delivery systems for someone under 21 years old?

You have the right to deny a sale to anyone in your store.

What can I do if I know about a retailer illegally selling tobacco to someone under age?

You can email or call us with the business name, address and any other helpful information at hlth.tobacco.prevention@multco.us, 503-988-4163.

What about possession of tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems?

It is not a violation for someone 18-20 years old to possess or carry tobacco or vape products. However, it is for someone under 18 years old.

Are people ages 18-20 “grandfathered” in? Can they still purchase and use tobacco products or inhalant delivery systems?

No. There are no exceptions.

Why is raising the minimum legal sales age from 18 to 21 important?

Raising the age will prevent kids from starting to use tobacco, and is projected to reduce smoking rates and reduce tobacco-related death and disease.

The earlier kids start, the more at risk they are for chronic disease including heart disease, asthma and cancer.

Most addiction to tobacco starts in teenage years. Most adults who smoke report that they started smoking before turning 18 years old, and almost all start before they turn 26.

How can I get materials about the new tobacco 21 law translated in another language?

Contact the Health Department's Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, 503-988-4163, hlth.tobacco.prevention@multco.us

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