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If You Don’t Know Your Sign, You May Receive A Fine


In many states across the country, retailers are being fined for not complying with state laws requiring specific signage in their stores.  For tobacco and e-cigarette or vaping product retailers, having the state-required signage is a basic requirement. 

This isn’t a new requirement, but it’s something you must have on your compliance checklist.  Even proper placement of state required signage is important.  Back in 2014, in an article from the NY Post, one small retailer says he “was slapped with a $1,000 fine because [his] sign was blocked by a candy display.”

You know that every state conducts compliance checks using underage minors to determine if you’re properly identifying and denying sales to minors.  The FDA conducts federal government inspections in the same way – at a pace of approximately 150,000 per year.  The odds are that your store will be inspected, if it hasn’t been already. 

Every state has a different law, but not all require a specific state required sign. For example, in Montana, signs are provided free by the Department of Revenue and feature large white text on a purple poster; in New York, the state separates standard retail stores and tobacco-only stores, requiring two additional signs for the latter; and in Nebraska, no sign is required at all. 

So, what can you do to ensure that your store complies with state laws? 

It’s simple—get your sign.

We Card has assembled an easy-to-read guide for the state sign requirements that you need to know to keep your store on the right side of the law!  Just log-in to our free Resource Center at to find out if your state has required signage and how to obtain it.

But don’t just stop there! Check out your state law summary and other resources and tools to help you understand state and federal regulations.

And as always, you should also contact your state for any further assistance.

Doug Anderson

President, The We Card Program, Inc.

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