Tobacco 21

96% of current tobacco users began using tobacco products before the age of 21.

Tobacco 21—a Springfield ordinance prohibiting tobacco and vape sales or provision to anyone under 21 years of age—goes into effect July 16, 2019.

Tobacco Use Rates

Tobacco Use Rates

Estimated impact of tobacco 21: 25% decrease of smoking in 15-17 year olds AND 15% decrease of smoking in 18-20 year olds. This would mean 223,000 fewer premature deaths in the U.S. for those born between 2000 and 2019. Data collected from the Institutes of Medicine

E-cigarettes (AKA vaping)

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. This can lead to mood disorders and lowering of impulse control.

A circle showing 63 percent, with the text 63% in the centerA circle showing 65 percent, with the text 65% in the center

63% of JUUL users did not know that the product always contains nicotine

65% of youth who use e-cigarettes reported using another tobacco product in the last 30 days

Enforcing Tobacco 21

Our goal is to provide adequate time to educate and create awareness around the new ordinance before any tickets are issued.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can view the ordinance itself here.

Can tobacco or vape accessories be sold to those under 21?

The ordinance prohibits the sale of these items to anyone under 21:

  • Tobacco or tobacco products
    • Cigarettes
    • Cigars
    • Pipe tobacco
    • Snuff
    • Chewing tobacco
    • Dipping tobacco
    • Smokeless tobacco products
    • Hookah tobacco
    • Cigarette papers
  • Vapor products
    • Any non-combustible product with or without nicotine that employs a heating element, power source, electronic circuit or other electronic, chemical means which can be used to produce vapor with or without nicotine
    • Electronic cigarette
    • Electronic cigar
    • Electronic cigarillo
    • Electronic pipe
    • Any vapor cartridge or other container of nicotine in a liquid solution or other form that is intended to be used with or in an electronic cigarette

Can someone under 21 sell tobacco products?

There is no city, state or federal prohibition on the age someone can sell tobacco.

What if someone older than 21 is buying tobacco, but is at the register with someone younger than 21—does the clerk have to refuse the sale ? 

There is nothing in our ordinance that pertains to the age of people around a purchase—just that a person who is purchasing tobacco or vape products must be 21.

Does this make it illegal to possess tobacco products if you are 21 or younger? 

  • 18-21, there is nothing in our ordinance that keeps a person from possessing tobacco or vape products (but they cannot be sold to or provided with)
  • Younger than 18—cannot purchase nor possess tobacco or vape products
  • HOWEVER, it is illegal for a person to provide tobacco to someone under 21

Where can I get the new required signage for tobacco and vape sales?

  • New signage will be provided to retail locations soon, but is also available here: New Sales Sign
  • If you wish to create your own sign, the requirements include:
    • the sign must include red lettering at least one-half inch high on a white background, with this wording: 

Where does this apply?

Will there need to be a new license for businesses selling tobacco and vape?

  • If a retailer already has a tobacco permit in Springfield:
    • At the time of their regular business license renewal, they will have an updated permit. There is no need to address this until the regular renewal time.
  • If (like a vape shop) a retailer does not have a tobacco permit in Springfield:
    • They need to work with Licensing. There will be a $5 fee. They will also be getting a letter soon with this reminder.
  • If they have additional questions about occupational licenses or permits, they can speak to a representative with the city’s Licensing Department at 864-1617

Tobacco cessation resources: