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Tobacco Retailers

Under Utah law, businesses that sell any tobacco or tobacco-related (including e-cigarette/vaping) products must be permitted by their local health department.

Under federal law, it is illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product to anyone under 21. This includes cigars, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, tobacco paraphernalia, and related products.

Definitions and criminal and civil penalties for tobacco violations are available from the State of Utah here.



To sell tobacco, vaping, or related products in Salt Lake County:

  1. Register your business with Utah Department of Commerce.
  2. Get a tobacco license from the Utah State Tax Commission.
  3. Apply for a tobacco sales permit from Salt Lake County Health Department using the PDF application below.
  4. Get a business license from your city.
  5. Comply with all tobacco sales laws.

Tips for Managers

  • Keep tobacco and related products locked up and monitor them constantly
  • Review Utah's tobacco laws during new and ongoing employee trainings
  • Post a copy of Utah's tobacco laws in a conspicuous place
  • Let your employees know that you support the law 100%

  • Develop and implement strict tobacco policies and procedures regarding age verification
  • Post consequences for those who sell tobacco to minors
  • Include policy requiring staff to advise underage youth to leave the outlets premises when they are using tobacco

For new and existing employees, schedule ongoing training that includes:
  • Utah Tobacco Laws
  • A clear definition of what constitutes a tobacco product
  • Legal age for purchase (21 years of age)
  • Instructions of how and when to ask to for I.D.
  • Instructions of how to identify a false I.D.
  • Instructions on how and when to refuse a tobacco sale
  • The consequences of an illegal sale
  • Signing tobacco sales agreements

  • Review Utah's tobacco laws and store policies and procedures in staff meetings
  • Practice mock sales with employees frequently

  • Post notices and reminders near cash registers, tobacco products, break rooms, bathrooms, etc.
  • Post your store's tobacco policy where employees will see it often
  • Post a copy of tobacco related laws
  • Post a copy of the penalties for those who sell tobacco to minors

  • Conduct surprise internal tobacco compliance checks
  • Offer incentives (such as a $10 dollar bonus, gift certificate, etc.) for employees who pass external and internal compliance checks
  • Encourage employees to help and remind each other not to sell to minors
  • Post signs stating that you don’t sell to minors where customers can easily see them (front doors, counters, windows)
  • Contact WE CARD at 1-800-934-3968 for materials to help you reduce sales to minors
  • Use computerized date prompt registers when ringing up sales, and then deny the sale if patron is underage

Tips for Employees

Ask anyone who looks under 27 to show you a current photo ID.

Utah’s driver licenses also show the year in which the individual is old enough to purchase tobacco (in blue) and alcohol (in red) to the right of their picture.

"They’re for my mom and dad" or "I have a note from my mom."

Customers must be 21 or older to buy tobacco, period. You are the one who would be fined or sent to jail if you sell to a minor.

"I'm sorry, but I can’t sell you tobacco without a picture ID to verify your age."

"I’m sorry, but it’s illegal for me to sell cigarettes to anyone under 21 years old."

You can always refuse to sell tobacco to anyone who does not look old enough, even if they have ID.

Utah Tobacco Laws

State Laws

The State of Utah has developed to help tobacco retailers understand the laws and licensing requirements associated with selling tobacco and nicotine products.

Federal Laws

There are also federal laws that Utah tobacco retailers are required to follow. Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more information about retailer education materials and a full list of applicable federal laws.

Acceptable Forms of ID

The following are acceptable forms of identification that customers may use to purchase tobacco or related products:

  • Current Utah driver license
  • Current Utah identification card
  • Current out-of-state driver license
  • Current military identification card
  • Current passport

Helpful Tips

  • If a driver license is in the vertical format, it means the bearer of the driver license may be under 21 years of age.
  • If a customer cannot present an I.D. listed above or refuses to provide the clerk with their I.D., this could be a red flag that the customer is not 21 years of age.
  • A retailer can always refuse to sell tobacco to a customer if the retailer cannot verify the customer's age.

For more information about Utah driver licenses and I.D. cards, visit the Utah Department of Public Safety's Driver License Division.