Texas Tobacco Law Toolkit
1.0 Texas Tobacco Law
Texas Cigarette, E-Cigarette, and Tobacco Product Laws
The Texas Cigarette, E-Cigarette, and Tobacco Products Law is a comprehensive approach to reducing children's access to e-cigarettes and all tobacco products.
Specifically, the law:
- Makes an employee who sells cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and tobacco products to a minor criminally responsible for the violation, which is a Class C misdemeanor.
- Requires tobacco retailers to verify the age of purchasers appearing to be younger than 27 years of age through the use of photo identification.
- All tobacco retailers must post a warning sign required by law and provided by the Texas Comptroller's office stating "Under 18 No tobacco. I can't sell, You can't buy." The signs display the following warning: PURCHASING OR ATTEMPTING TO PURCHASE E-CIGARETTES OR TOBACCO PRODUCTS BY A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW. SALE OR PROVISION OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO A MINOR UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE IS PROHIBITED BY LAW. UPON CONVICTION, A CLASS C MISDEMEANOR, INCLUDING A FINE OF UP TO $500, MAY BE IMPOSED. VIOLATIONS MAY BE REPORTED TO THE TEXAS COMPTROLLER'S OFFICE BY CALLING 1-800-345-8647.
- Vending machine and self-service sales are restricted except in places not open to those under 18 years of age or in places used as cigar humidors.
- Giveaways of free samples and coupons to anyone under 18 are prohibited.
- Sales of cigarettes of less than 20 per pack (Kiddie Packs) are prohibited.
- Requires a retail permit. The fee funds administration of the bill and enforcement and awareness programs.
- Retailers are subject to the following penalties upon failure to adequately supervise or train employee. All offenses must be within a 12-month period.
- First offense: up to $500 fine.
- Second offense: up to $750 fine.
- Third offense: up to $1,000 or 3-day permit suspension.
- Four or more offenses: permit revocation (can apply after six months)
- Retailers must inform employees that tobacco sales to minors are illegal.
- The retailer is protected from permit revocation if his employees attend a comptroller-approved training program. There is no protection from permit revocation if a retailer has eight violations within a two-year period.
- Minors are penalized for purchasing or possessing e-cigarettes or tobacco products and must attend an E-Cigarette and Tobacco Awareness Program or do community service. Failure to attend the E-Cigarette and Tobacco Awareness Program or do the community service may result in a suspension of the minor's driver's license. A violation is punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. Upon producing evidence of attending an E-cigarette and Tobacco Awareness Program or doing the community service, the charge may be dismissed except in the case of repeated offenses.
- Outdoor advertising is prohibited within 1,000 feet of a church or school.
To view the complete version of the Texas Cigarette, E-Cigarette, and Tobacco Products Law (Senate Bill 97) passed in the 84th Legislative Session refer to the next Section 1.1 - Texas Tobacco Laws Handbook.
For additional information regarding Tobacco Enforcement and Compliance Resources visit the Texas Comptroller and Public Account website:
Texas Comptroller Tobacco Enforcement Program