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Effective July 1 Tobacco Minimum Age 21

June 13, 2019

News Release Contact:

Dawn Eischen - (804) 213-4640
Email: dawn.eischen@abc.virginia.gov

Virginia Law Prohibiting the Sale of Nicotine Products to Persons Under 21 Effective July 1

During the 2019 Virginia General Assembly Session, lawmakers voted to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco, nicotine vapor and alternative nicotine products from 18 to 21 years old. Beginning July 1, Virginia retailers will be prohibited from selling nicotine products to individuals under 21. The new law allows active duty military aged 18 or older with a valid military ID to purchase nicotine products.    

“It’s important for nicotine product retailers to be aware of this new law and post the appropriate signage by July 1,” said Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “As the commonwealth authority responsible for enforcement of laws pertaining to alcohol and nicotine products, Virginia ABC offers free training to help alcohol and nicotine product retailers to better understand this new law, as well as other ABC rules and regulations.”

In preparation for the July 1 effective date, retailers should remove any signs related to nicotine product usage at 18 years old and replace them with this downloadable sign, which reflects the new law. Additionally, ABC licensees will receive a postcard this month that can be displayed in their stores to inform customers about the new law.

In December, retailers will receive new “Do Not Sell” stickers to indicate customers must be at least 21 years of age to purchase nicotine products, with the exception of active duty military aged 18 or older.

For more information about ABC’s free licensee training or materials, visit https://www.abc.virginia.gov/licenses/training.


The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $2.1 billion to the general fund in the last five years. Virginia ABC currently operates 376 state stores, and provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 18,000 ABC licensed establishments. Now marking its 85th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia.


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