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Resources for tobacco retailers

The Department of Public Health provides resources for tobacco retailers to help them:

  • Learn about illegal sales to minors.
  • Accurately check IDs.
  • Post mandatory signs.
  • Learn about transitioning away from selling tobacco.

For more information, see how to get a tobacco retailer permit.

Learn more about Philadelphia’s clean indoor air laws and regulations.

Note: Due to ongoing litigation, we are not currently enforcing Section 9-639 of the Philadelphia Code, which relates to the sale of flavored cigars and certain other flavored tobacco products.

Regulations and exception forms for tobacco retailers

Title Description Category Author Date Format
Regulation relating to health informational messages for hookah and e-hookah PDF Philadelphia Board of Health resolution relating to health informational messages in establishments where hookah or e-hookah use is permitted. May 3, 2022
2016 tobacco retailing regulations PDF Regulations for tobacco retailers, as adopted by the Department of Public Health in 2016. October 4, 2018
2016 tobacco retailing regulations: Public hearing report PDF A report from a 2016 public hearing held by the Department of Public Health, in regard to regulations for tobacco retailers. October 4, 2018
Specialty tobacco establishment exception form PDF A form for claiming an exception to the Philadelphia Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law. To claim this exception, 15% of your annual gross sales must be from tobacco, tobacco-related products, and accessories. April 15, 2019
Specialty electronic cigarette establishment exception form PDF A form for claiming a Specialty E-Cigarette Establishment exception to the Philadelphia Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law. To claim this exception, 50 percent of your gross annual revenue must come from from the sale of e-cigarettes, related products, or their component parts, including e-cigarette atomizers, vaporizers, batteries, replacement cartridges, and any solution manufactured for use with those devices. October 3, 2018
Tobacco products distribution business exception form PDF A form for claiming an exception to the Philadelphia Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law as a Specialty Tobacco Establishment. A Specialty Tobacco Establishment is a food or beverage establishment whose on-site sales or rentals of tobacco, tobacco-related products, and accessories for consumption or use on the premises comprise 90% or more of gross sales on an annual basis, not including vending sales. October 3, 2018

Tobacco retailer permit education materials

Title Description Category Author Date Format
Tobacco retailer permit education module (English) PDF Required tobacco retailer permit education module in English. May 31, 2023
Tobacco retailer permit education module (Spanish) PDF Required tobacco retailer permit education module in Spanish. April 10, 2023
Tobacco retailer permit education module (Simplified Chinese) PDF Required tobacco retailer permit education module in Simplified Chinese. April 10, 2023
Tobacco retailer permit education module (Vietnamese) PDF Required tobacco retailer permit education module in Vietnamese. April 10, 2023
Tobacco retailer permit education module (Korean) PDF Required tobacco retailer permit education module in Korean. April 10, 2023

Hookah and e-hookah materials

Title Description Category Author Date Format
Letter to business owners about signage requirements for hookah and e-hookah PDF This letter describes signage requirements for establishments that have an exception to the Clean Indoor Air Worker Protection Law to use of hookah or e-hookah on their premises. May 3, 2022
Signage for businesses that permit smoking or vaping PDF This sign is required where smoking or vaping is permitted to alert customers that the establishment is only open to individuals age 18 and above. May 3, 2022
Hookah evidence-based health informational messages PDF Signs required to be posted if hookah use is permitted on premises. Please refer to the Notice Letter and the Regulation relating to health informational messages for hookah and e-hookah for instructions on placement. May 3, 2022
E-hookah sign PDF Sign required to be posted if e-hookah use is permitted on premises. Please refer to the Notice Letter and the Regulation relating to health informational messages for hookah and e-hookah for instructions on placement. May 3, 2022
Sample menus for businesses that permit the use of hookah and e-hookah PDF These two sample menus provide the required language to alert customers that there is no safe level or type of hookah smoke. May 3, 2022

Preventing tobacco and e-cigarette sales to minors

Title Description Category Author Date Format
Sign for prohibiting tobacco sales to minors PDF A sign for retailers to post that prohibits and discourages the sale of tobacco products to minors. April 13, 2022
How to check an ID (English) PDF Tips for tobacco retailers about checking IDs and preventing tobacco sales to minors. October 4, 2018
How to check an ID (Spanish) PDF Tips for tobacco retailers about checking IDs and preventing tobacco sales to minors. October 4, 2018
How to check an ID (Simplified Chinese) PDF Tips for tobacco retailers about checking IDs and preventing tobacco sales to minors. October 4, 2018

Selling e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices

Title Description Category Author Date Format
E-cigarette fact sheet for retailers PDF A description of e-cigarettes, including their components, safety, and regulation. October 4, 2018
E-cigarette law fact sheet: Prohibiting e-cigarette sales to minors PDF Information about Philadelphia Code 9-633, which prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes and related accessories to minors. October 4, 2018
Philadelphia's e-cigarette laws: What businesses need to know PDF Information for businesses about Philadelphia's e-cigarette laws, which control where e-cigarettes and their accessories can be used and who can buy them. October 4, 2018

Selling loosies (cigarettes sold one at a time)

Preventing smoking or e-cigarette use indoors

Title Description Category Author Date Format
E-cigarette law fact sheet: Prohibiting indoor e-cigarette use PDF Information about Philadelphia Code 10-614, which prohibits the use of electronic smoking devices indoors. This fact sheet also describes the businesses that are exempt from the law. October 4, 2018
No smoking sign (includes e-cigarettes) PDF A sign for businesses to post to prohibit smoking in an area. October 4, 2018
Philadelphia's e-cigarette laws: What businesses need to know PDF Information for businesses about Philadelphia's e-cigarette laws, which control where e-cigarettes and their accessories can be used and who can buy them. October 4, 2018

Philadelphia's sign control law

Title Description Category Author Date Format
Philadelphia's window sign law: What businesses need to know PDF Information for businesses about Philadelphia's window sign law, which limits the amount of window or transparent door space that can be covered with signs. October 3, 2018
Sign control fact sheets for retailers (English) PDF Information about sign control in Philadelphia and how to comply with the window sign law. October 3, 2018
Sign control fact sheets for retailers (Korean) PDF Information about sign control in Philadelphia and how to comply with the window sign law. October 3, 2018
Sign control fact sheets for retailers (Simplified Chinese) PDF Information about sign control in Philadelphia and how to comply with the window sign law. October 3, 2018
Sign control fact sheets for retailers (Spanish) PDF Information about sign control in Philadelphia and how to comply with the window sign law. October 3, 2018
Sign control fact sheets for retailers (Traditional Chinese) PDF Information about sign control in Philadelphia and how to comply with the window sign law. October 3, 2018

Transitioning Away from Tobacco

Title Description Category Author Date Format
Transitioning Away from Tobacco: Tips for Philly retailers (English) PDF Tips and guidance for retailers who want to stop selling tobacco. October 3, 2018
Transitioning Away from Tobacco: Tips for Philly retailers (Spanish) PDF Tips and guidance for retailers who want to stop selling tobacco. October 3, 2018

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