Retail Tobacco and Paraphernalia Sales License Information

How do I get a Retail Tobacco and Paraphernalia Sales License?

All tobacco and paraphernalia retailers are required to apply for and retain a valid Retail Tobacco and Paraphernalia Sales License every year. License applications are sent to retailers to complete and return to Columbus Public Health.

  • Read the Tobacco 21 License Application Letter here.
  • Download the Tobacco 21 License Application here.
  • Download the Temporary Retail Tobacco and Paraphernalia Sales License Application here.

A license will be required for each location and the license is non-transferable. Tobacco and paraphernalia retailers must submit a current and valid Vendor’s License to Columbus Public Health before applications will be processed for licensing. Retailers that distribute, store, or sell cigarettes are required to submit a current and valid Retail Cigarette Dealer's License to the department prior to approval for licensing.

How much will a Retail Tobacco and Paraphernalia Sales License cost?

The annual license fee for each license will be $150 and the license will be valid from October 1 to September 30 of the following year.  A penalty fee equal to 25% of the applicable license fee will be assessed by the Board of Health for license fee payments that are not received or postmarked by October 1

Do I need to get a license if I am selling tobacco products or product paraphernalia at an event?

Yes, you will need to get a Temporary Retail Tobacco and Paraphernalia Sales License for the event.  An application, which is available on our website, will need to be submitted to Columbus Public Health at least 10 days prior to the event and the license is valid for no longer than 30 consecutive days. This temporary license is limited for use at a single event. The license fee is $50.  Anyone who fails to apply for the license prior to the beginning of the event will be subject to denial of the application for the license.                                                                                                                    

Can I be denied a Retail Tobacco and Paraphernalia Sales License?  Can a Retail Tobacco and Paraphernalia Sales License be suspended or revoked?

Licenses can be denied, suspended or revoked for giving or selling cigarettes, tobacco products or product paraphernalia to anyone under the age of 21. Also, licenses can be denied, suspended or revoked if no proof of age is obtained by tobacco and paraphernalia retailer for customers that are under age 30. In addition, licenses may be denied, suspended or revoked for reasons such as failure to post Tobacco 21 signs, failing to pay any outstanding fines, having the business declared a nuisance by the court, submitting a misleading, inaccurate or false license application, and failing to be in compliance with applicable city, state and federal codes.