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A Guide for Managers

As manager of a retail establishment that sells tobacco, you are charged with educating your employees in the law regarding the sale of tobacco products to minors. The following can help you and your employees comply with West Virginia State law.

Know the law

- It is illegal to sell any tobacco product to anyone under the age of 18.

Include tobacco law instruction in new employee orientation/training. Many tobacco retailers review the law and their store policies regarding tobacco sales to minors with new and continuing employees. Some require signed agreements acknowledging an employee's understanding of the policy. Give a copy of the state law to all employees.


- As part of new employee training, require managers and employees to ask for legitimate picture I.D. from anyone who appears to be under the age of 25.

Customer complaints

- If customers complain about your policy, explain that West Virginia State law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 18.

Parental Complaints

- At times, parents will send an underage child to purchase a pack of cigarettes or a tin of snuff. After the minor is refused sale of the product, the parent may complain. Explain to the parent that you and your employees are not allowed by West Virginia law to sell these products to minors and that you will be held responsible for breaking the law. A note from a parent is not sufficient for selling to a minor.

Use signs

- Consider placing window decals or signs stating the store complies with West Virginia law and that you will not sell to those customers under the age of 18.

Cigarette Placement

- To control products and prevent theft, consider placing tobacco products behind a clerk-controlled counter. This could also increase the odds that an employee will ask for ID., and it may make teens more! reluctant to ask for tobacco products.