Public Health

Posted on: July 19, 2016

New 21+ Age Requirement to Purchase Tobacco Goes Into Effect Tomorrow in Portland

On June 20, 2016, the Portland City Council voted in favor of raising the Minimum Legal Sale Age (MLSA) for tobacco products referenced in Chapter 17, Article V of City of Portland Code of Ordinances, from 18 to 21 years of age. The change goes into effect tomorrow, July 20, 2016.

As a result, please be advised that in the City of Portland, no individual, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association or other entity may sell, furnish, give away or offer to sell, furnish or give away a tobacco product to any individual under the age of 21. This includes cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, powdered tobacco, or other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes. The sale of tobacco products is also prohibited unless a clearly visible notice is posted at the location where the tobacco products are available for purchase.

Tobacco retailers in the City must now cease sales of all tobacco products to persons under the age of 21 and post a notice notifying customers of the prohibition on sales to persons under 21 years of age. In an effort to assist tobacco retailers with compliance, your local Healthy Maine Partnership, Healthy Portland, has created materials to promote awareness of the updated ordinance and assist retailers in complying with the new law.

Retailers who need assistance with this new requirement or access to the materials can contact Kristen Dow, Public Health Division, at 207-874-8634 or email

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