City of Lincoln Passes T21 ordinance

The city of Lincoln passed a T21 ordinance during their April 30 meeting. TFND supports this measure for all of North Dakota’s cities and counties. The vote to change ordinance 12-07-12 Sale of Tobacco To and Possession, Sale or use by a person under the age of 21 ordinance was unanimous.

The age for purchase and possession of all tobacco products was increased to age 21 to match federal laws and allow for local enforcement of those laws. If cities don’t have local ordinances recognizing age 21 for tobacco products, it makes it difficult to enforce because violators will go to Federal Court instead of local. It is important for all cities to pass local ordinances for age 21.

Below are additional updates to ordinance:

  • Electronic Nicotine Devices (ENDS) will be now be categorized as tobacco products in Lincoln. Currently, state law for tobacco products does not include ENDS products and ENDS do not have a tobacco tax.
  • Child-resistant packaging requirements in accordance to ND State Law
  • Penalties for purchase and possession of tobacco have been increased. State law is $25, and Lincoln’s is going to be $100/$50.
  • Retailers (as well as the clerks) will now be able to be fined for selling tobacco to youth. Current ND law does not do penalize the retail establishment but rather the clerk. Lincoln’s ordinance will now do both. Structure fines for tobacco retailers.
  • Lincoln will implement a local retailer tobacco license to know who is currently selling tobacco.
  • Lincoln will also implement a ban on mobile retailers selling tobacco products to protect youth and easier to conduct a compliance checks at bricks and mortar buildings.


Thank you to our friends at the Bismarck Tobacco Free Coalition and the Lincoln City Council for their support and work on this important issue!