Promoting and protecting the health and safety of all Idahoans

Idaho Tobacco Project

It is a criminal offense to sell tobacco products or electronic smoking devices in the State of Idaho without a tobacco permit.  In order to legally sell any substance containing, made of, or derived from tobacco or nicotine; or electronic smoking devices, components, parts, or accessories to the public in Idaho, retailers must have an Idaho tobacco permit, issued by the Department of Health and Welfare's Idaho Tobacco Project. Tobacco permits are issued free of charge and must be secured before beginning the sale of tobacco products or electronic smoking devices to the public. All tobacco permits expire on December 31 of each calendar year and must be renewed annually.

Vape/electronic smoking device retailers are required to get a tobacco permit, starting July 1, 2020
Because of a change in Idaho Code that will take effect July 1, retailers including vape shops who sell nicotine, tobacco, or electronic smoking device products will now be required to obtain a permit to legally sell them in the state of Idaho.
The Idaho Legislature has updated Section 39-5700. It is now called the Prevention of Minors’ Access to Tobacco Products and Electronic Smoking Devices Act. The new code requirements go into effect on July 1, 2020.
The changes expanded the type of products that will now fall under this statute. Retailers who sell any substance containing, made of, or derived from tobacco or nicotine; or electronic smoking devices, components, parts, or accessories will be required to obtain a permit to legally sell these products in the state of Idaho.
All products that fall under the updated definition will be enforceable through inspections, citations, and fines for non-compliance.
There are some product exceptions; for example, products authorized for sale by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as drugs, devices, or combinations of products are exempt from enforcement under the code. In other words, products that have been reviewed and determined by the FDA to be intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease (such as smoking cessation) are not subject to enforcement under this law.

How do I obtain a tobacco permit?

There are three ways to acquire/renew an Idaho Tobacco Permit:

Complete the application online on the Idaho Tobacco Project Website. Retailers such as vape shops who do not sell tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, etc.) should choose “other” as their vendor type when applying for their permit. In addition to applying for a new permit and renewing an existing permit, you can also view public reports, learn about tobacco inspections and learn about tobacco retailer training on this website.

  Submit a written request to the Idaho Tobacco Project to receive an application packet. The mailing address is Department of Health and Welfare, P.O. Box 83720, 3rd Floor, Boise, ID 83720-0036
  Call the Idaho Tobacco Project toll-free at 877-641-4468 and request a tobacco permit.  Your information will be taken over the phone and a hard copy of your permit will be printed and mailed out to your business.

Federal Tobacco 21 and Unauthorized Flavored e-Cigarette Products

What is the new Tobacco 21 Law and how does this impact retail sales of tobacco products? A new law is now in place in the United States that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to people under the age of 21. According to the FDA, it is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product- including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes- to anyone under 21. Increasing the purchasing age to 21 will help prevent youths from ever starting to smoke and to reduce deaths, disease, and health costs related to tobacco use. For more information refer to the official statement on the FDA’s website. 

What is the FDA enforcement policy on unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes that appeal to children? On January 2, 2020, the FDA issued a policy prioritizing enforcement against certain unauthorized flavored e-cigarette products that appeal to kids, including fruit and mint flavors. Under this policy, companies that do not cease manufacture, distribution and sale of unauthorized flavored cartridge-based e-cigarettes (other than tobacco or menthol) risk FDA enforcement actions. This measure is in response to the rise in youth vaping and the vaping-related lung injury epidemic that has hospitalized over 2,500 people and led to over 50 deaths. For more information please refer to the official press release from the FDA.