Please call 213-351-7890.

NOTE: TCPP can only address smoking violations in Los Angeles County. If the violation occurred outside of Los Angeles County you can browse our links page or contact your local health department for more information.

Tobacco Retail License

Tobacco Retail License Application and Additional Resources

Los Angeles County Code §11.35.030 requires all tobacco retailers, tobacco shops and smokers' lounges (including cigar, hookah and vape lounges), in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County must obtain a Los Angeles County Tobacco Retail License (TRL) before selling tobacco, tobacco products and/or tobacco paraphernalia. The TRL must be prominently displayed in a publicly visible location at the licensed premises.

To obtain a Los Angeles County TRL, complete the following forms:


Completed TRL forms and supporting documentation may be emailed to the Los Angeles County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program at tobacco1@ph.lacounty.gov.

To determine if your business is located in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, click here and enter your business address to see if it is located in an "unincorporated" area.

Additional Information and Resources

Los Angeles County Code §7.83.030 requires all tobacco shops or smokers’ lounges operating in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County must obtain a Los Angeles County Tobacco Shop business license before selling tobacco, tobacco products and/or tobacco paraphernalia. To obtain a Tobacco Shop business license contact the Business Licensing Section of the Treasurer and Tax Collector's Office at (213) 974-2011 or businesslicense@ttc.lacounty.gov.

The State of California requires that all tobacco retailers have a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer License. You can get yours from the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration. NOTE: a California Cigarette and Tobacco Products Retailer License is required to obtain a Los Angeles County TRL. You need BOTH licenses to sell tobacco, tobacco products and/or tobacco paraphernalia in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

Tobacco retailers, including tobacco shops and smokers’ lounges, may not sell and display tobacco, tobacco products, and tobacco paraphernalia until all applicable licenses are obtained and prominently displayed in publicly visible locations on the premises.

Important information for Tobacco Retailers, Tobacco Shops and Smokers’ Lounges (including cigar, hookah and vape lounges) operating in unincorporated Los Angeles County:


If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Los Angeles County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program at (213) 351-7890 or tobacco1@ph.lacounty.gov.

Sale of flavored tobacco products prohibited in Unincorporated Los Angeles County

On September 24, 2019, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an Ordinance containing two new requirements for Los Angeles County proprietors: (1) a Tobacco Shop Business License; and (2) restricted retail sales of tobacco products. The new restrictions and requirements only apply to tobacco retailers in the unincorporated areas of the county. The law does not apply to personal possession or use of tobacco products. After a six-month implementation and education period, the law became enforceable on May 1, 2020.

Beginning February 1, 2022, the Department of Public Health will issue administrative citations and/or license suspensions for violations of county tobacco retailing laws. These violations include, but are not limited to:

  • The sale of flavored tobacco products (e.g., flavored hookah tobacco, flavored little cigars and cigarillos, flavored electronic tobacco products and mentholated cigarettes); and,
  • The sale of little cigars in packages of less than 20 units; and,
  • Selling tobacco products without a valid, prominently displayed, Los Angeles County Tobacco Retail License; and,
  • Selling tobacco products without a valid, prominently displayed, Los Angeles County Tobacco Shop Business License, (note, this only applies to tobacco retailers that exclusively or predominately sell tobacco, tobacco products, or tobacco paraphernalia).

Penalties will include administrative citations consisting of fines between a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $1000, and/or license suspensions at a minimum of 7-days and a maximum of 120-days. In the event of repeat offenses, license revocation is possible. Please note, sale of flavored tobacco products will result in an immediate license suspension.

Please see the Reference Guide for the Tobacco Retail Official Inspection Report for more information about compliance with county tobacco retailing laws.

Additional Resources


For more information regarding changes to the County of Los Angeles tobacco retailing laws, please email the Department of Public Health at: tobacco1@ph.lacounty.gov, or call: (213) 351-7890.

Pre-Recorded Webinar to Review Changes to the County of Los Angeles Tobacco Retailing Laws

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, along with other County of Los Angeles departments, including the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, Treasurer and Tax Collector, Department of Regional Planning, and County Counsel, have developed a pre-recorded webinar to review changes to the County of Los Angeles tobacco retailing laws.

The webinar is intended to provide information to members of the public and stakeholders who are affected by these changes, as well as allowing members of the public and stakeholders an opportunity to ask questions.

For additional information regarding the webinar or the changes to the County of Los Angeles tobacco retailing laws, please email tobacco1@ph.lacounty.gov or call (213) 351-7890.

Beginning May 1, 2020 the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products and Menthol Cigarettes will be Prohibited in Unincorporated Areas of Los Angeles County

On September 24, 2019 the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved an Ordinance creating restrictions on retail sales of tobacco products and a new business license requirement. The law included a six month period for retailers to come into compliance and is enforceable beginning on May 1, 2020.

The new restrictions and requirements only apply to tobacco retailers in the unincorporated areas of the County. The law does not apply to personal possession or use of tobacco products

Among other requirements, beginning May 1, 2020, the sale of flavored tobacco products and menthol cigarettes will be prohibited, and little cigars and cigarillos must be sold in packs of at least 20 units. In addition, tobacco shops may not operate without a tobacco shop business license. A tobacco shop is a business devoted exclusively or predominantly to the sale of tobacco, tobacco products, and tobacco paraphernalia.

An FAQ can be found here.

The Los Angeles County Tobacco Ordinance can be found here.

Questions, please contact the Los Angeles County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program at 213-351-7890 or at tobacco1@ph.lacounty.gov.

California's Flavored Tobacco Products Ban Put on Hold Pending Ballot Referendum

On August 28, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 793, making California only the second state in the nation, after Massachusetts, to enact a broad law prohibiting the sale of most flavored tobacco products. SB 793 bans the sale of menthol cigarettes and all flavored e-cigarettes statewide, as well as flavored non-cigarette tobacco products such as smokeless tobacco and little cigars.

Effective January 1, 2021, the new California law will prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products by tobacco retailers statewide, including any tobacco product that has a characterizing flavor, which is defined to cover any distinguishable taste or aroma other than that of tobacco, explicitly listing mint and menthol flavors as examples. A violation of the flavor ban is punishable by a $250 fine per violation.

The law will exempt certain types of tobacco products from the ban, such as the sale of hookah and shisha if sold by a licensed hookah tobacco retailer that limits entry to those aged 21 and over. The law will also allow the sale of premium cigars and loose-leaf tobacco.

The law will not preempt local action that goes beyond State law in prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, therefore leaving open the opportunity for local jurisdictions to close the exemptions created in state law. Also, the State law will not override laws passed by California jurisdictions that have already enacted comprehensive flavor bans with no retailer or product exemptions.

SB 793 will not override Los Angeles County’s comprehensive flavored tobacco products ordinance that prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products, including little cigars, hookah tobacco and menthol cigarettes in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The County’s ordinance went into effect on November 1, 2019 and became enforceable on May 1, 2020

On August 31, a proposed referendum was submitted to the Attorney General of California to repeal SB 793. On January 22, 2021, the referendum qualified for the ballot, putting SB 793 on hold until the 2022 general election referendum vote. The referendum, titled REFERENDUM CHALLENGING A 2020 LAW PROHIBITING RETAIL SALE OF CERTAIN FLAVO RED TOBACCO PRODUCTS, will not effect the County’s flavored tobacco ban. Tobacco retailers operating in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles are required to follow the County’s flavor ban in accordance with Los Angeles County code 11.35.070 E.

Questions, please contact the Los Angeles County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program at 213-351-7890 or at tobacco1@ph.lacounty.gov.


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