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Tobacco Regulations


Youth Access Regulation 

                        Summary of Youth Access Regulation and Guidelines                         

 (YA Regulation and YA Guidelines)

These regulations set the following rules for tobacco and nicotine delivery product sales in Boston:

  • Prohibit the sale of tobacco and nicotine products, including e-cigarettes, to persons under the age of 21.
    • Require retailers to request and examine the IDs of ALL customers prior to the sale of tobacco and nicotine delivery products regardless of apparent age. 
  • Prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco, nicotine delivery, or tobacco product flavor enhancer products (including mint and menthol) at all retailers except smoking bars.
    • Prior to the sale of tobacco, nicotine delivery, or tobacco product flavor enhancer products in a retail establishment other than a smoking bar, the product's manufacturer must submit to the owner, retailer, or other people in charge of any retail establishment that is not a smoking bar documentation indicating that the tobacco or nicotine product is not flavored for each product to be sold in the retail establishment. This documentation must be kept on the premises and be made available upon request. 
  • Prohibit the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products with nicotine content greater than 35 milligrams per milliliter at all retailers except adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars. 
    • The sale of nicotine delivery products such as electronic cigarettes, e-liquid, and vaping products must be in compliance with the State Law and the City of Boston regulations. Retail establishments must maintain records obtained by the manufacturer that validates the nicotine content of electronic nicotine delivery products available for sale at the store/premises.  This documentation must have originally come from the manufacturer, must state the nicotine content in milligrams per milliliter, and must be kept on the premises and be made available upon request.
  • Prohibit the sale of tobacco and nicotine delivery products from a display from which customers may select a tobacco or nicotine delivery product without assistance from an employee; Prohibit the sale of tobacco and nicotine delivery products from a vending machine that does not have a lockout device.
  • Establishes restrictions on cigar packaging.
    • A single cigar must retail at two dollars and ninety cents ($2.90) or more.
    • A package of two or more cigars must retail at five dollars and eighty cents ($5.80) or more.
  • Prohibit the sale of tobacco and nicotine-delivery products in healthcare and educational institutions e.g. pharmacies and colleges/universities. 
  • Prohibit the sale of blunt wraps at all retailers.

Recent amendments to Massachusetts law establish additional restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine products and establish maximum nicotine content levels for nicotine vaping products for sale in adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars. The Boston Public Health Commission is required to enforce these provisions of state law. Information about the new Massachusetts law is available online at

* Adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars are those designated by the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program under the restrictions set forth in the guidelines.


Clean Air Works Workplace Smoking Regulations

Summary of Clean Air Works Workplace Smoking Regulations.

These regulations create the following protections in Boston workplaces:

  • Smoking/vaping is not permitted in any workspace, including any enclosed indoor and adjacent outdoor area, structure, or facility occupied by an employee during the course of his or her employment. Examples of outdoor workspaces include restaurant and hotel patios, loading docks, valet parking areas, and unenclosed floors of construction sites.
  • Employers shall post no smoking signs  in a clear and visible manner stating that smoking is prohibited.
  • Smoking bars that were in operation when the Regulation was amended in 2008 are permitted to allow smoking. These businesses must have signage addressing the dangers of smoking, vaping, and second-hand smoke, as well as prohibit the entry of persons under the age of 21. No new smoking bars can be permitted. 


Adult-Only Retail Tobacco Stores

An adult-only retail tobacco store's primary purpose is to sell tobacco, nicotine, and related paraphernalia. Smoking, including vaping, is prohibited at Adult-Only Retail Tobacco Stores permitted as an Adult-Only Retail Tobacco Store after November 2008.

  • Adult-Only Retail Tobacco Stores are permitted to sell nicotine delivery (vape) that contains more than 35 milligrams per milliliter of nicotine. 
  • Under Boston's regulations, adult-only retail tobacco stores must request and examine the ID's of ALL entrants immediately upon entry into the store and will be responsible for ensuring that no person under the age of 21 enters or remains in the physical space where the retailer is located. 
  • The sale of any items other than tobacco/nicotine delivery products and paraphernalia in adult-only retail tobacco stores is prohibited.

​If you have any questions or need language translation assistance, please contact the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at or 617-534-4718​
Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: