Retail Sales



A new Hawaii state law effective January 1, 2016 increases the minimum age to 21 years for tobacco and e-cigarette sales.

Make sure you’re prepared. Know the law and post legal signage in your store.

The Department of Health is providing the following merchant resources; click on the link then download them to your computer:

For more information please contact (808) 586-4613.

Product Placement

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[/tabtext] [tabtext] Tobacco defined
[/tabtext] [tabtext] Penalties
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[/tabtext][/tabcontainer][tabcontent][tab] Except as otherwise provided under this section, a retailer may sell cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and all other tobacco products including electronic cigarettes only in a direct, face-to-face exchange between the retailer and consumer.  It is unlawful to sell any of these to a person under 21 years of age.

Examples of methods of sale that are not permitted include vending machines and self-service displays.

The law does not apply to:

  • A duty-free sales enterprise selling duty-free merchandise in accordance with the provisions of title 19 United States Code section 1555(b), and any implementing regulations;
  • Retail tobacco stores, bars, or any other establishment for which the minimum age for admission is eighteen. [L 2013, c 227, §3]
[/tab] [tab]“Tobacco product” means any product made or derived from tobacco that contains nicotine or other substances and is intended for human consumption or is likely to be consumed, whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, or ingested by other means. “Tobacco product” includes but is not limited to a cigarette, cigar, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, or an electronic smoking device. “Tobacco product” does not include drugs, devices, or combination products approved for sale by the United States Food and Drug Administration, as those terms are defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

“Electronic smoking device” means any product that can be used to aerosolize and deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including but not limited to an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, or electronic pipe, and any cartridge or other component of the device or related product.[/tab] [tab]A person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls any place or facility designated by this chapter and fails to comply with this chapter shall be guilty of a violation and fined per HRS 328J-12:

  1. Not more than $100 for a first violation;
  2. Not more than $200 for a second violation within one year of the date of the first violation; and
  3. Not more than $500 for each additional violation within one year of the date of the preceding violation.

A person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls any place or facility may result in the suspension or revocation of any permit or license issued to the person or the place for the premises on which the violation occurred.

Each day on which a violation of this chapter occurs shall be considered a separate and distinct violation.
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Here are some examples of displays that are in compliance with the new law. Customers must have contact with a salesperson before they can purchase a tobacco product. Other ways to comply with the law are to:

  • Rearrange tobacco products behind or under the counter,
  • Lock tobacco products in a cabinet or drawer,
  • Move the location of racks to behind courtesy counters,
  • Reuse existing displays by locking them and limiting access to employees only.
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Tobacco Prevention & Education Program – 1250 Punchbowl St. Rm 217- Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-4613 / Fax: (808) 586-8252