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    Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch
    DSHS Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section
    1100 West 49th Street, Mail Code 1965
    Austin, TX 78756

    Phone: 512-776-7111
    Fax: (512) 776-7555


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Texas Tobacco Laws

under18

In 1997, the Texas Legislature enacted a bill (SB 55) that made it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors - those younger than 18 years of age. Anyone 27 years old or younger must present valid identification before buying tobacco products. Warning signs must be posted at each retailer's location.

For more information, visit the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts website.

Worth It Campaign Logo

Worth It? is the public education campaign aimed at educating teens about the Texas Tobacco Law and its consequences. The Worth It? website includes a statewide listing of instructors for tobacco awareness classes.
Tobacco laws in Texas

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 employees.

All offenses must be within a 12-month period.

First offense: up to $500 fin.
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 Laws Handbook.

Last updated July 26, 2017