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Tobacco Prevention: Retail Environment

Oregon Tobacco Retail


On Wednesday August 9th, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 754 into law. This law raised the required minimum age for a person to legally buy or obtain tobacco products, inhalant delivery systems, and tobacco product devices, from 18 to 21.

This law applies to conduct occurring on or after January 1, 2018. There is no violation for people ages 18, 19, or 20 to possess tobacco products or inhalant delivery systems. Oregon is now the 5th state in the nation to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21 years!

Raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old is an evidence-based strategy that will help reduce youth initiation of tobacco. Most addiction to tobacco starts in adolescence, so protecting kids is critical. Nine out of ten adults who smoke report that they started smoking before they turned 18, and almost 100 percent start before they turn 26.

If you see a tobacco retailer selling tobacco to someone you know is under 21 and would like to let us know, please send an email to:

Rulemaking 2017

The Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, is revising the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) for the Oregon Indoor Clean Air Act (ICAA) and sales of tobacco and inhalant delivery systems to person under 21years of age. The amendments are being proposed to comply with statutory changes from the passage of SB 754, which increased the legal sale age to purchase tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems from 18 to 21.

The following public hearings will be held for the public to comment on the proposed rules:

  • November 27, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.: Jackson County Health Department, Room HHS1EDCTR1009 – 140 S Holly Street, Medford, OR 97501
  • November 28, 2017 at 1:30 p.m.: Portland State Office Building, Room 1A – 800 NE Oregon Street, Portland, OR 97232

Written comments can be submitted before 5:00 p.m. on November 30, 2017, by sending them to the Public Health Division Rules Coordinator at the following address:

OHA, Public Health Division
Brittany Hall, Administrative Rules Coordinator
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite 930
Portland, Oregon 97232

E-mail comments to:

You may also send comments by fax to (971) 673-1299. 

Final rules will be filed after consideration of all comments. 

If you have questions or would like a paper copy of these rule changes, please contact Tara Weston at 971-673-1047 or by e-mail at

Rulemaking documents

pdfSecretary of State Rulemaking Notice, which includes: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing; Statement of Need and Fiscal Impact; Proposed rules text

pdfRules Advisory Committee Meeting Notes – September 15, 2017

Tobacco products are cheap, readily available and easy to get, and are heavily promoted and marketed in stores.This makes it difficult for current smokers to stop and promotes tobacco use to Oregon’s youth.



U.S. Surgeon General Report - Marketing and Promotions

The 2012 U.S. Surgeon General report showed that,

"...the industry's extensive use of price-reducing promotions has led to higher rates of tobacco use among young people[i]" Evidence shows that coupons also encourage new smokers to smoke more often, thereby entrenching their addiction.[ii] - See citation 

Quick Facts

In Oregon

State Health Improvement Plan

Preventing and reducing tobacco use is one of seven priority areas in Oregon's State Health Improvement plan (SHIP).

A key strategy in the SHIP is to increase the price of tobacco. Tobacco prices have a significant effect on initiation and consumption.

Strategies such as banning free samples or coupon redemption are effective ways to increase tobacco prices.

Compliance with the Law

Tobacco and inhalant delivery system retailers are responsible for complying with tobacco sales laws in Oregon.

Best Practice/Approach to Prevention

Laws that prohibit sales to minors are important, but alone, will not keep kids from using tobacco and nicotine products.

Evidence shows that to prevent youth initiation of tobacco products, communities must take a comprehensive approach that includes reducing youth exposure to products that are cheap, readily available, and easy to find.

Visit for resources to counteract tobacco product sales and marketing at the point of sale in your community.

[1] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the Surgeon General. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General (2012) (Page 8). PDF icon Accessed April 3, 2015.

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