North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services have partnered to provide tobacco awareness and education to tobacco retailers. ALE enforces the state tobacco laws with the goal of reducing the sale of tobacco products to persons less than 18 years of age.

May 2020 update: Give a listen - NC Alcohol Law Enforcement Assistant Director Israel Morrow participated in an educational podcast from the North Carolina Justice Academy related to illegal tobacco sales to minors and how these sales affect federal grants used to address the opioid epidemic.  

Click to listen to the podcast.


As of Dec. 20, 2019, federal law prohibits retailers from selling tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes) and vape products to people under 21 years old. As State law enforcement, ALE will continue to enforce North Carolina law which prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 18 years old. Any sale of tobacco products to someone under 21 may be subject to federal authorities’ enforcement. 

For additional guidance on the new law and how it will be implemented, tobacco retailers can contact the U.S. FDA Center for Tobacco Products or call (877) 287-1373.

ALE educates retailers on the state tobacco laws and enforces the state tobacco laws by providing the following services:

  • Educating tobacco retailers through regularly scheduled BARS (Be A Responsible Seller) programs throughout the state
  • Conducting inspections at retail tobacco locations to reinforce the importance of abiding by the state tobacco laws
  • Providing tobacco retailers with on-site assistance for any questions they have pertaining to the state tobacco laws
  • Enforcing the state tobacco laws by conducting surveillance at retail locations that sell tobacco

Report Violations by Email  or call 1-877-ALE-AGENT



FDA Free program materials

For Retailers

Online Tobacco Retailer Training in English   Training in Spanish

NC General Statute 14-313

NC Tobacco Sign