As of January 1, 2022, any business that wants to be authorized to sell tobacco, nicotine and vaping products in Oregon is required to get a Tobacco Retail License from the Department of Revenue. The licensing requirement is imposed on all retailers, including but not limited to:
- Convenience stores
- Gas stations
- Music venues
Retailers must be in a fixed and permanent location, and online sales of tobacco are prohibited. Violations of any tobacco retail law may result in civil penalties, license suspension or revocation. In addition, local jurisdictions may have their own restrictions on the sale of tobacco or vaping products.
This new license was created to increase retailer knowledge and compliance of federal and state laws regulating the sale of tobacco and inhalant delivery system products. In other states it has helped to reduce youth access to tobacco in our community. Tobacco retail licensing allows OHA to monitor local businesses and make stores healthier places for everyone to shop. This policy can also support other retail policies to address such concerns as youth access to tobacco, youth exposure to marketing, retailer location or density, retailer incompliance with federal or state laws.
- The license does not apply to retailers operating on tribal lands.
- Local jurisdictions that were already operating a license program may keep their local program. For information and links to local tobacco retail license programs, visit the Oregon Department of Revenue.
How the license works
The Department of Revenue reviews applications, issues tobacco retail licenses and collects the annual fee. See the section Applying for a tobacco retail license below for more information.
- Retailers will pay an annual fee of $953 for a license.
- Retailers with multiple locations will need to have a license for each one.
- Anyone who sells tobacco products - including stores, cigar and hookah lounges, and bars - is considered a tobacco retailer and is required to purchase a license to continue selling tobacco. The license does not apply to retailers operating on tribal lands.
- The fees from tobacco retail licensing cover the cost of the program: stronger and more frequent enforcement, retailer education and support for local businesses – in addition to making sure businesses comply with the law.
Enforcing the law
Oregon Health Authority supports retailers and conducts compliance checks. There are real consequences for retailers that don't follow the law, such as fines and civil penalties, up to suspending or revoking a retailer's ability to sell tobacco for repeated violations.
- Oregon Health Authority or Local Public Health Authority staff will conduct compliance visits.
- Starting July 1st, there will be two compliance visits, per retailer, per year: One compliance visit will make sure retailers aren't selling to people under 21. The other will check for compliance with all tobacco retail sales laws.
- Any business or person known to be selling tobacco will be subject to inspection – whether they have a license or not.
Applying for a tobacco retail license
The Department of Revenue reviews applications and issues tobacco retail licenses. To apply for a tobacco retail license, visit: https://www.oregon.gov/dor/programs/businesses/Pages/tobacco-license.aspx
The annual fee for a license is $953, per location.
- January 1, 2022: All retailers are required to have a license.
- January 1 through June 30, 2022: Oregon Health Authority and Local Public Health Authorities conduct outreach and education visits to help retailers get their license and comply with tobacco laws.
- July 1, 2022: Oregon Health Authority and county public health departments begin compliance checks. Each retailer will have two compliance visits per year: One compliance visit will make sure retailers aren't selling to people under 21. The other will check for compliance with all tobacco retail sales laws.
- Retailers will need to renew their tobacco retail license annually.