Tobacco retailers required to use scanning technology or automated software to verify age

Enhanced verification as of Jan. 1 to help prevent sale of tobacco-related products to those under age 21

Carson City January 05, 2023

Effective Jan. 1, tobacco retailers are required to use scanning technology or an automated software-based system to verify age on anyone under the age of 40 before making sales of tobacco products. The implementation of Assembly Bill 360, passed in 2021 updates Nevada Revised Statutes 370.521, which states consumers of tobacco and related products, including electronic vapor products, must be age 21 or older.

Retailer compliance inspections are conducted regularly by investigators pursuant to the existing statute which determines whether a retailer completes a sale of tobacco or tobacco-related products to a minor. These inspections will include monitoring compliance with the new statutory requirements during sales beginning Jan. 1, 2023. Violations of sales to minors are subject to the current penalty structure (which includes a $100 fine for the first violation) and failure to use scanning or software technology will result in an additional $100 fine, regardless of customer age.

According to the Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2019-2021, 17.5% of high school students reported having smoked cigarettes in 2021, which is nearly 2% higher than in 2019. Nearly 8% of high school students report smoking for the first time before the age of 13, and 38.5% say they think it would be “Fairly/Very Easy” to get cigarettes if they wanted some.

Additionally, NYRBS indicates nearly 37% of high school students have used electronic vapor products, including e-cigarettes, vapes, vape pens, e-cigars, e-hookahs, hookah pens and mods, and 10% reported having first used these products before the age of 13. Nearly 48% say they think it would be “Fairly/Very Easy” to get electronic vapor products if they wanted some.

This legislation is an additional effort to enforce Nevada’s Tobacco 21 law and prevent youth and young adults from purchasing and using tobacco and related products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable disease, disability, and death. The CDC defines tobacco use, predominately e-cigarette use in young adults aged 18-20, as an epidemic. For more information about youth and young adult cessation services please visit My Life My Quit - Nevada or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

To help retailers understand and comply with federal and Nevada state laws, the Nevada Tobacco Control Program implemented the Nevada Responsible Retailer Training Program. This web-based learning platform is designed to promote responsible tobacco sales and to protect business, employees and local youth. For more information, visit

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About the Responsible Tobacco Nevada Program: The Nevada Responsible Tobacco Retailer Training Program was developed to provide the information and tools necessary for employees of retailers that sell tobacco products, to comply with the Federal and State of Nevada laws, including regulations, restricting the sale and distribution, including youth access, and the advertising and promotion of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and covered tobacco products.

More information on the Responsible Tobacco Nevada Program can be found at

Information on the Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2019-2021 is available here: Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2019-2021.

More information on the My Life My Quit youth and young adult smoking cessation services will be found at


Kathie Taylor, APR
Public Information Officer, Division of Public and Behavioral Health