E-cigarette tobacco retail licensing laws: variance across US States as of January 1, 2020

Minal Patel, Emily M. Donovan, Siobhan N. Perks, Darlene Huang, Lauren Czaplicki, Maham Akbar, Stacey Gagosian, Barbara A. Schillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives. To describe how US states and the District of Columbia regulate e-cigarette sales by examining e-cigarette-specific tobacco retail licensing (TRL) laws. Methods. We coded 25 state-level e-cigarette TRL laws (effective as of January 1, 2020) for provisions we labeled as either “core” (e.g., presence of license terms, fees, and penalties) or “descriptive” (e.g., license fee amount and term length). Results. Overall, 23 laws clearly defined a license term, 23 laws required a license fee, and 19 laws identified penalties for violations that included both license suspension and revocation. Fees widely ranged ($5-$1000 annually), and 8 laws did not explicitly direct fees toward TRL administration or enforcement. No law required that retailers comply with all local, state, and federal tobacco or e-cigarette laws. Conclusions. Most laws contained core TRL provisions. Several laws, however, had minimal license fees and did not direct fees toward administration or enforcement. As youth e-cigarette use increases, more states should consider establishing e-cigarette TRL laws or incorporating provisions into existing TRL laws.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1380-1385
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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