Laws and Regulations

Sale of Tobacco and Vapor Products

Required Retail Signage

Smoking in Public Places

In Washington state, we have laws and policies to help protect our workers and families from secondhand smoke in public places.

  • On December 8, 2005, the “Smoking in Public Places” law (RCW 70.160) went into effect, making it illegal to smoke in all indoor public places and workplaces in Washington.

  • Other smoking in public places laws
    • Tobacco use on school property–RCW 28A.210.310: Requires the posting of signs prohibiting the use of tobacco products, consequences for students and school staff who violate the policy, and a requirement that school district employees enforce the rules.
    • Unlawful transit conduct–RCW 9.91.025: People are guilty of “unlawful transit conduct” if they smoke or carry a lighted or smoldering pipe, cigar or cigarette, unless they are smoking in an area designated and authorized by the transit authority.

Vaping in Public Places

  • On June 28, 2016, the state vapor product law (Chapter 70.345 RCW) became effective, applying to items such as the ban on open displays, tasting restrictions, ad restrictions on coupons, as well as the requirements for child-resistant packaging and labeling. The law regulates all vapor products, whether or not they contain nicotine, and is intended to provide Washingtonians with consumer protection, child safety, and eliminating youth access. For more information, visit the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board's website.
  • Many cities and counties in Washington state have passed ordinances around vapor products. For more information about specific cities and counties or to make a complaint, contact your local health department. View more information on local vapor product regulations.

Tobacco and Vapor Product Sampling and Coupon Regulations

  • Tobacco regulations
    • Sampling prohibited–RCW 70.155.050: A tobacco sampling license is required to distribute samples of tobacco. Sampling may occur only within a location that holds a current cigarette license. Please check with your local city or county because some locations completely prohibit tobacco sampling.
    • Coupons–RCW 70.155.070: Tobacco product coupons are redeemable only through in-person transactions.
  • Vapor regulations
    • Coupons for free of charge products-RCW 70.345.110: No coupons for free vapor products without purchase.
    • Product tastings-requirements-penalty-RCW 70.345.100: Allows tasting in licensed, adult-only retail premises. Tasting of vapor products is limited to products without nicotine unless the customer explicitly consents to taste a vapor product with nicotine. (Note: The Food and Drug Administration has banned free samples or tasting of nicotine-containing vapor products.)
    • Mail and Internet sales-RCW 70.345.090: May occur only with proof that purchaser is 18 years and older. Sellers must obtain a delivery sale license, and provide notice of the minimum age on their order form. Then, before accepting a purchase or order, they must verify the buyer's full name, birth date, and residential address through a third-party database regularly used by government and businesses to verify age and identity. Further, they may accept payment only via a credit or debit card in the purchaser's own name, and before shipping, must have purchasers certify or declare they are over 18.

Federal Regulations


View sources for information