Tobacco Retailer Signage
Required Cessation Signage for Tobacco Retailers
Tobacco retailers have a responsibility to educate customers on the dangers of tobacco products and ensure legal guidelines including proper signage and age-restrictions are followed.
Effective November 1, 2018, Louisiana ACT No. 188 requires that all tobacco point of sale signage includes: “For assistance in quitting tobacco call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.quitwithusla.org.” Tobacco point of sale signage that does not include this language does not meet the requirements of Louisiana law. Failure to comply may result in a fine imposed by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, raising the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes, to anyone under 21. For more information, review the statement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Effective August 1, 2021, Louisiana ACT No. 403 changes the state minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years to align with federal law. Act 403 also amends the language to refer to “point of sale” rather than “point of purchase,” and adds that signs notifying the legal age of purchase are to be displayed at the point of sale, “in a manner conspicuous to both employees and consumers, within any location where tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products or vapor paraphernalia and devices are available for purchase.” The signage must still include the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and the Quit With Us, Louisiana website address. www.quitwithusla.org.
Three Easy Steps to Compliant Signage
Choose the free, compliant tobacco sign that best fits the needs of your business or vending machines.
You can print your selected sign using your office or home printer! Signs can be printed on letter-sized paper or cardstock, in full color or in grayscale.
No printer? Download the sign you selected on a USB drive and take it to your local print shop for printing.
Signage must be placed at point of sale of tobacco products. In order to be in compliance with Louisiana law, signage must be posted in a location (or multiple locations) where patrons are easily able to see and read the text while making their purchase. For FAQs, click here.
For more information, please contact the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control at 225-925-4041.
Frequently Asked Questions
Louisiana ACT No. 403 changes the state minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years to align with federal law. The Act also amends the language of R.S. 14:91.8 to “point of sale” rather than “point of purchase” signage and adds that the signs must be displayed, “in a manner conspicuous to both employees and consumers, within any location where tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products or vapor paraphernalia and devices are available for purchase.” The signage must still include the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and the Quit With Us, Louisiana website address, www.quitwithusla.org.
The change from Louisiana ACT 403 went into effect August 1, 2021. After this date, tobacco point of sale signage that does not include the new required language regarding the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline will be incompliant.
Louisiana ACT No. 188 amends the language on the signage that tobacco retailers are current required to display at the point of sale in both retail outlets and on vending machines per R.S. 14:91.8.
Louisiana Revised Statute 14:91.8 is known as the “Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco Law.” This law sets the minimum legal sales age of tobacco products and also defines what signage is required to be posted at the point of sale for all places that sell tobacco products.
The law previously required signage to contain the following language in at least 30-point type in retail outlets and 22-point type on vending machines: “LOUISIANA LAW PROHIBITS THE SALE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS, ALTERNATIVE NICOTINE PRODUCTS, OR VAPOR PRODUCTS TO PERSONS UNDER AGE 18.”
During the 2018 legislative session, Louisiana ACT No. 188 amended R.S. 14:91.8 to add the following language to section C (which defines the required signage for tobacco retailers) and section D (which defines the required signage for tobacco vending machines): “The sign shall also include a notice that displays the telephone number for the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline (1- 800-QUIT-NOW) and the website for the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline (www.quitwithusla.org), as determined by the state department of health.”
The Louisiana Department of Health has determined that the language to be added must read: “For assistance in quitting smoking call: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.quitwithusla.org.”
The change from Louisiana ACT 188 went into effect November 1, 2018. After this date, tobacco point of sale signage that does not include the new required language regarding the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline will be incompliant.
Print-ready signage is available for download above in multiple size options that are all compliant! All signage can be printed on a personal printer on regular paper or brought to a local print shop for additional print options (printing on card stock, lamination, poster size printing, etc.).
No, We Card signage does NOT meet the requirements of R.S. 14:91.8. If your retail outlet or vending machine only posts We Card signage and not the signage required by Louisiana law, it will be found incompliant.
R.S. 14:91.8 requires retailers post the new required signage at the “point of sale.” Point of sale is defined as the area where customers “checkout” or where the retail transaction is completed. In order to be in compliance with Louisiana law, signage must be posted in a location (or multiple locations) where patrons are easily able to see and read the text while at the point of sale.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) is the enforcing agency. ATC will enforce by conducting regular checks using uniformed ATC agents, plain clothes ATC agents and ATC operatives in plain clothes.
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco (ATC) will enforce by conducting regular checks using uniformed ATC agents, plain clothes ATC agents and ATC operatives in plain clothes.
R.S. 14:91.8 states that, “a person who violates the provisions of the law by selling or buying tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products shall be fined not more than fifty dollars for the first violation. The penalties for subsequent violations shall be a fine of not more than one hundred dollars for the second violation, a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars for the third violation, and a fine of not more than four hundred dollars for any violation thereafter.”
The Louisiana Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, is a 24-hour a day, confidential, free tobacco cessation helpline for Louisiana residents. The Quitline links people who want to quit using tobacco with trained tobacco cessation specialists, Quit Coaches, who work with each caller to create an individualized plan to quit. Quit plans include counseling sessions, a quit kit and information about addition cessation resources in your community! For more information on the Louisiana Tobacco Quitline, please visit www.quitwithusla.org.
The website, www.quitwithusla.org, is Louisiana’s official website for tobacco cessation resources. It includes a wealth of resources for those wanting to quit, including online enrollment into the Quitline, as well as for healthcare providers.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in our country, killing 443,000 Americans and 6,500 Louisianans each year. For every person who dies from tobacco use, another 20 suffer from one or more serious smoking-related illnesses. Breathing in secondhand smoke is also harmful. In Louisiana, approximately 1,000 children and adults die each year due to secondhand smoke exposure. Posting a Quitline number (1-800-QUIT-NOW) at the point of sale is an inexpensive and visible way to share information about cessation services. Requiring the posting of the Quitline phone number and website information in retail stores is a recommended tobacco control strategy that has evidence of effectiveness. Promotion of the Quitline in all tobacco retail outlets and on tobacco vending machines can also increase awareness of and access to cessation resources for communities and populations in hard to reach areas of our state.
If you have any questions, please contact the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) at 225-925‐4041.