Tobacco 21

Everyone who buys tobacco must be at least 21 banner

Federal law has changed. Everyone who buys tobacco must be at least 21.

What you should know

  • In late December 2019, President Trump signed into law federal Tobacco 21 as part of a budget bill.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated the law went into effect immediately, saying: “It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21.”
  • Tobacco 21 applies to all retailers in the U.S. (including all states, U.S. territories, and tribal jurisdictions). There are no phase-ins or exemptions (e.g., grandfathering for 18- to 20-year-olds or exemption for military service members).

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Tobacco? IDs out! Everyone must be at least 21.

Wisconsin retailers are verifying age on tobacco purchases to make sure those buying are at least 21. Have your ID ready!


Tobacco? Check for 21, Check for under 21 until date



Retailers: Train your employees. Fast. Easy. Free. And good for business

When your employees sell any tobacco product to young people under the age of 21, your business pays the price. But there’s an easy way to avoid expensive license suspensions and fines.

Training your employees is required by law and you can do it for free at, a state-approved online and mobile-friendly tool for learning tobacco sales laws.

Wisconsin Wins: Trained Employees, Tobacco-Free Kids. Making a Difference Means Knowing the Law

Get help to quit

For free assistance and a customized quit plan, call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT NOW or text "READY" to 200-400 (messaging and data rates may apply). The Quit Line provides free one-on-one phone counseling and information, local cessation program referrals, and starter packs of quit smoking medications like nicotine gum, patches, and lozenges. Learn more about how the Quit Line can help you become tobacco free.

Resources for ordering

Last Revised: May 7, 2021