Retailer education and training resources

Tobacco and e-cigarette retailers must train their employees on how to comply with federal and state law and local ordinances, particularly those prohibiting the sale of such products to minors.

This page offers guidance, education and training materials, and other resources available to retailers at no or low cost.

Federal (FDA) education and training resources

  • Guidance for Industry: Tobacco Retailer Training Programs – FDA guidance for retailers on compliance with federal law and recommended components for training programs.
  • Tobacco Compliance Webinars – the FDA hosts webinars and makes those videos available on their website to educate tobacco retailers and small businesses on compliance.
  • Tips for Retailers: Preventing Sales to Minors – A PowerPoint presentation developed by the FDA’s Office of Compliance & Enforcement with information about retailer training programs, available FDA training materials, age verification techniques, conducting internal compliance checks, hiring and management practices, and other training materials.
  • Protect Our Future: Prevent Tobacco Sales to Minors – FDA training video for retailers about federal age and ID requirements around tobacco sales.
  • This is Our Watch – the FDA’s education program for tobacco retailers about the importance of compliance with tobacco laws. This is Our Watch provides a free toolkit to retailers, including materials to display and post in stores. These materials include:
    • Poster;
    • Register stickers;
    • Regulation flyers;
    • Age verification calendar;
    • Register signage; and,
    • Instruction booklet.
  • “FDA Age Calculator” Smartphone App – available for free download through the Apple App Store and as an Android App on Google Play.

Massachusetts education and training resources

  • Are You Under 27? Information about Acceptable Forms of ID – an information sheet about state laws around age verification and identification, including valid forms of ID, is available to order (free) or download, through the Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse.
  • Required Signs for Tobacco Sales – store and point-of-sale signage, including signage required under state and local law, is available to order (free) or download through the Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse.
  • Retailer Training – contact your city/town’s Board of Health to request an in-person training and/or educational materials about compliance with state and local law.

Other education and training resources

These programs are offered by third party entities and may charge a fee. Inclusion here does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by the Attorney General’s Office or any other government agency.

  • We Card – We Card, a national non-profit organization, provides resources for tobacco, alcohol, e-cigarette and vape retailers including online trainings (employee, refresher & manager), materials such as signage and point-of-sale tools, resources about laws and regulations, e-cigarette-specific signage, and mystery shopper programs.
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