Tobacco Permits

All tobacco retailers in unincorporated areas of Riverside County, and incorporated cities that adopt the ordinance, must have a permit to sell tobacco.

- Increase compliance with county/city, state, and federal tobacco laws including prohibiting tobacco sales to minors, self service tobacco, selling single cigarettes, and more.
- Enforce compliance through permit revocation and fines.


On September 13, 2005 the Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to require all tobacco retailers in the County of Riverside to have a license to sell tobacco. The development of this ordinance was based on multi-year efforts by the Tobacco Control Project staff working collaboratively with community based organizations, youth, health officials and others. The ordinance includes penalties for failing to obtain a license, as well as sanctions for sales to minors including license revocation and fines up to $10,000. The ordinance prohibits mobile sales of tobacco products and paraphernalia and clerks must be of legal age to sell tobacco products. As of February 2010 the ordinance was amended and the authority for enforcement was transferred to the Department of Environmental Health.

Upcoming Board of Equalization Classes:
The Board of Equalization is offering interactive classes on its Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Program and related tobacco tax laws. The classes are designed to inform, answer questions, and help California sellers of cigarettes and tobacco products understand their requirements and avoid penalties. Click on the
Board of Equalization website to see the schedule of classes and to register. You may also call the BOE at (916) 322-8536 for more information.

FDA information on Protecting Kids from Tobacco

References and Information

Tobacco Control Laws that Affect Retail Businesses

California BOE Tobacco License Application

Riverside County Tobacco Permit Application

Retail Tobacco Permitting Program

The following areas are covered by the Department of Environmental Health:

Riverside County Areas
Canyon Lake
Desert Hot Springs
Jurupa Valley
Lake Elsinore
Moreno Valley
San Jacinto