What is Senate Bill 375 (Tobacco 21 or T21)?
The Northeast Health District is reminding tobacco retailers that the state of Georgia has implemented Senate Bill 375 (often referred to as Tobacco 21 or T21), a law that raised the minimum legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 years old.
What is Senate Bill 375 (Tobacco 21 or T21)? As of July 22, 2020, the sale or barter, directly or indirectly, of any cigarettes, tobacco products, tobacco-related objects, alternative nicotine products, or vapor products to anyone under the age of 21 years is illegal in Georgia.
What are retailers required to do? Retailers are responsible for upholding the law. The Georgia Department of Revenue conducts compliance checks and enforces the law continuously to ensure retailers are following federal and state Tobacco 21 laws that prohibit the sale of all tobacco products to those under 21. Failure to comply with the Tobacco 21 law will result in a misdemeanor.
- Retailer must display Tobacco 21 signage in clearly visible locations
- Use a state-issued driver’s license, military ID, and passport to verify individuals’ age
- Train all staff on the following steps for every tobacco sale:
- Ask for valid ID from everyone attempting to purchase tobacco products
- Check ID to make sure everyone is 21 years and older
- Refuse to sell tobacco products to everyone under 21
Why public health needs retailers’ help? There has been an alarming increase in the use of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and flavored delivery systems among youth and young adults in our community. Almost 1 of every 5 high school students in Georgia are current tobacco users of cigarettes, hookah, cigars, smokeless tobacco, or electronic cigarettes (Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2019). As a licensed tobacco retailer, you play an important role in ensuring the success of reducing access and use of tobacco products by complying with the Tobacco 21 law.
What free resources for quitting tobacco are available? Georgia residents 13 years and older who want to quit smoking, vaping, or using tobacco, can call the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line:
1-877-270-7867 (English) • 1-877-266-3863 (Spanish) • 1-877-777-6534 (Hearing Impaired)
Youth and young adults who wish to quit vaping (e-cigs) may enroll in This is Quitting by texting VAPEFREEGA to 88709.
Let’s work together to keep our youth and young adults tobacco-free!
Georgia Senate Bill 375 (Tobacco 21 Law) Retailer Survey
This is a tool to assess tobacco retailers’ knowledge and understanding of Senate Bill 375 – Tobacco 21. Completion is totally voluntary, but your participation is greatly appreciated.