For Retail Managers and Associates
Pennsylvania’s Act 112
Pennsylvania’s Act 112 prohibits the sale of tobacco products to minors, while federal law bans the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping pens (known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or ENDS) to those under 18 years of age.
In Allegheny County, Tobacco Free Allegheny has been authorized to check that stores are not selling tobacco to minors since 2002. If tobacco products are sold to a minor on one of our teams, a Criminal Complaint is filed against both the clerk and the store owner/manager, who will then either plead guilty and pay a fine or appear before a magistrate.
It is illegal to:
- Sell a tobacco product to a minor.
- Provide a minor with a tobacco product.
- Place a vending machine in a location accessible to a minor.
- Sell cigarettes outside of a pack.
- Locate a tobacco display out of sight of a clerk.
Retailers must implement a written policy against selling tobacco to minors, which includes:
- A requirement that an employee ask any person who appears under the age of 25 for a valid photo ID as proof of age prior to making a sale.
- A list of all types of acceptable photo IDs.
- A list of factors to be examined on the photo ID, including photo likeness, birth date, expiration date, the signature, and evidence the ID may be fake/falsified.
- A requirement that if the photo ID is missing any of the listed items, it is not a valid proof of age. A second photo ID may be required to make a sale of tobacco products with questions referred to the manager.
- A disciplinary policy that includes employee suspension for failure to require a valid photo ID and dismissal for repeated improper sales.
- Documenting employee training in writing.
- Posting signs that selling tobacco to minors is illegal.
Retail managers and associates play a critical role in restricting youth access to tobacco products. We’ve created a free toolkit that is meant to serve as a guide that will help you, and your employees, understand and follow the law.
Interested in helping Tobacco Free Allegheny with preventing youth access to tobacco products?
We’re always on the lookout for new minors and adult officers to join our compliance and enforcement team.
Compliance officers work in teams of 3 (two adults, one minor) and FDA officers work in teams of 2 (one adult, one minor) or teams of 1 (one adult). For more information, contact Alan Jones, Retail Compliance Liaison, at 412-322-8321 x306 or via email.