Customers must be 18 years or older to purchase tobacco products, e-cigarettes and e-vapor products (See Restricted Products section). It is illegal for a person to sell, give, or supply restricted products to any person under the age of 18, or to any person seeking to purchase such products for persons under 18. In Kansas City, the minimum-age is 21 years old.
Deny sales to minors* -- according to minimum-age laws of your state or local government -- of FDA regulated products (SEE Restricted Products section).
While FDA requires denying sales to under 18 year old customers, many states and locales have higher minimum-age requirements.
If your state or local has a higher minimum-age requirement (such as 19 or 21 years old), then you must follow that minimum age.
See state & local minimum-age requirements here:
You must Check photo ID of everyone appearing under age 27 who attempts to purchase FDA regulated products and verify the customer is of legal age to purchase. This is an each-and-every time requirement (even if you know the person to be of legal are.) If you "carded" them yesterday, you must "card" them again today!
Decline a sale when the customer is underage, has no photo ID, the photo ID contains no date-of-birth or the photo ID has expired.
Cigarettes and tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco or pipe tobacco.
FDA regulations apply to these tobacco products.
- Cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco
- Do NOT break open cigarette packages to sell products in smaller amounts.
- Do NOT sell single cigarettes, also called "loosies."
- Do NOT sell cigarette packages containing fewer than 20 cigarettes.
- Do NOT sell flavored cigarettes, cigarette tobacco or roll-your-own tobacco (other than menthol or tobacco.)
- Only sell in a direct face-to-face exchange*.
- Smokeless tobacco
- Do NOT break open packages to sell products in smaller amounts.
- Only sell in a direct face-to-face exchange*.
- Do NOT sell without a health warning label.
- Hookah & Pipe tobacco
- Dissolvable tobacco products
- Electronic Nicotine Delivery System (ENDS), which are products such as:
- vape pens
- advanced refillable personal vaporizers
- electronic pipes
- Components and Parts, such as:
- batteries (with or without variable voltage)
- cartomizers (atomizer plus replaceable fluid-filled cartridge)
- digital display/lights to adjust settings
- tank systems
- vials that contain e-liquids
- programmable software
- Do NOT give away free samples of any of these FDA regulated products or components and parts. EXCEPTION: Free samples of smokeless tobacco are only allowed in a "qualified adult-only facility" -- where no person younger than 18 is permitted to enter or be present (or a higher minimum-age if your state or locality has a higher age limit.)
- Do NOT sell in vending machines UNLESS you operate a "qualified adult-only facility" -- where no person younger than 18 is permitted to enter or be present (or a higher minimum-age if your state or locality has a higher age limit.) Some state laws prohibit tobacco product vending machines. Check your state law.
EXCLUDED from FDA regulation are accessories, such as: ashtrays, spittoons, hookah tongs, cigar clips and stands, pipe pouches, humidors.
* The sale of cigarettes, cigarette tobacco and smokeless tobacco through vending machines and self-service displays are allowed ONLY in adult-only facilities where no person younger than 18 is permitted to enter or be present (or a higher minimum-age if your state or locality has a higher age limit.)
** Retail establishments, such as vape shops, that mix and/or prepare e-liquids or assemble vaporizers are considered "tobacco product manufacturers." Many separate regulations will apply. See FDA regulations for tobacco product manufacturers at www.fda.gov.
A driver's license, Kansas non-driver's identification card or other official or apparently official document containing a photograph of the person and purporting to establish that the person is of legal age to purchase or receive restricted products.
Unless otherwise required by state or local law, FDA recommends that retailers accept only government-issued photographic identification with the bearer’s date of birth. (e.g., State-issued driver’s license or identification card, military identification card, passport or immigration card) for establishing a legal age to purchase FDA regulated products. The Photo ID is not acceptable if it has expired.
Anyone convicted of violating the Kansas cigarette and tobacco products act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and subject to a minimum fine of $200 up to $1,000. In addition, a civil fine may be imposed on licensees of up to $1,000 for a first violation and a graduated fine for subsequent violations within a three-year period. In determining the penalty to be imposed when a retailer’s employee violates the law, a mitigating circumstance is the employee’s completion of an approved training program, approved by the state Secretary of Revenue, in avoiding sale, furnishing or distributing Restricted Products to minors.
The person charged with a violation shall be the individual directly selling, giving or furnishing the cigarettes or tobacco products to any person under 18 years of age or the retailer who has actual knowledge of such selling, furnishing or distributing by such individual or both.
FDA has a variety of enforcement tools to address retailers who violate Federal statutes or regulations, including civil money penalties, warning letters, seizures, injunctions, no-sale orders and/or criminal prosecution. Retailers who violate the regulations may also be in violation of state law and subject to state penalties or other related orders. Fines and penalties shown here are as of June 7, 2019.
An affirmative defense exists if the seller had reasonable cause to believe the purchaser was of legal age, and the purchaser presented an Acceptable form of Identification.
Federal law provides that the FDA shall adopt regulations that may provide any retailer that implements the “approved training program,” a reduced civil money penalty if that retailer is found in violation. The FDA does not require training, but it recommends retailers train and educate their employees.
Until the FDA issues guidance or regulations on what constitutes an FDA “approved training program,” the FDA indicates “the agency intends to use a lower maximum civil money penalties schedule for all retailers who violate the regulations restricting the sale and distribution of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, whether or not they have implemented a training program. However, FDA may consider further reducing the civil money penalty for retailers who have implemented a training program.”
It is illegal for minors to purchase, attempt to purchase, possess or attempt to possess Restricted Products. Violators are subject to a fine of $25.00, and the judge may require the minor to appear in court with a parent or legal guardian. Any Restricted Product found in the possession of a minor is subject to seizure.
Not applicable under Federal law
Retailers must conspicuously post a sign in their establishment that reads:
BY LAW, CIGARETTES, ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES, AND TOBACCO PRODUCTS MAY BE SOLD ONLY TO PERSONS 18 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER.
Anyone convicted of violating this requirement shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not more than $1000.
HARD COPY: Contact the Department of Revenue, Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 785-296-7015
ONLINE: Download sign here.
Effective 8/10/18: For retailers who sell cigars individually without packaging, there is an FDA sign requirement. Download We Card's Sign
Alert: A U.S. District court has placed an injunction on this requirement. However, you need to be prepared for this requirement IF it is required once the legal matters are resolved by the court.
Cigars Sold Individually without Packaging - Retailers who sell cigars individually, and not in a product package must post a sign at each point-of-sale that displays all six of the required warning statements per 21 CFR § 1143.5(a)(3). Each sign must be at least 8.5x11 inches in size; clear, legible, and conspicuous; printed in black Helvetica bold or Arial bold type or other similar sans serif fonts against a solid white background, in at least 17-point font size with appropriate spacing between the warning statements; posted on or within 3 inches of each cash register where payment may be made; and unobstructed in its entirety and read easily by each consumer making a purchase. The required warning statements on the sign must be: printed in a manner that contrasts, by typography, layout, or color, with all other printed material; and capitalized and punctuated as indicated above.
As a condition of receiving federal substance abuse block grant funds, federal law requires the State of Kansas to conduct random, unannounced inspections of tobacco outlets to determine compliance rates. The Secretary of Revenue coordinates the inspections.
FDA conducts compliance checks of retail stores to determine whether retailers are complying with the new federal law, using:
- Attempted purchases of tobacco using underage customers.
- Inspections of stores for other compliance requirements.
- Inspections of stores in response to public complaints to the FDA’s request for the general public to report suspected store violations (1-877-CTP-1373 or AskCTP@fda.hhs.gov)
The FDA indicates that it will conduct follow-up compliance checks on stores found in violation.
Minor license is vertical with a white "NOT 21 UNTIL 00-00-0000" in a red bar, or a white "NOT 18 UNTIL 00-00-0000" in a green bar under the photo.
Not applicable under Federal law
See additional information and requirements on advertising, labeling and promotion requirements -- available here.