Tobacco Permits & Electronic Smoking Device Information

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's 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. 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 Dec. 31 of each calendar year and must be renewed annually.

Idaho Tobacco Project
Idaho Department of Health & Welfare's system for granting and managing tobacco permits.

How to obtain a tobacco permit

Online

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.

By mail

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.

By phone

Call the Idaho Tobacco Project toll-free at 1-877-641-4468 or call the Department of Health and Welfare at 1-208-334-0642 to request a tobacco permit. Your information will be taken over the phone and your tobacco permit will be emailed to you using the email address we have on file. If specifically requested, we can mail a  hard copy of your permit to your business.

Federal and state laws
Prevention of Minors' Access to Tobacco Products and Electronic Smoking Devices Act

Because of a change in Idaho Code that will took 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 went into effect on July 1, 2020.

The changes expand 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.

Federal tobacco 21 and unauthorized flavored e-cigarette products

This now-standing law 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. 

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.