IPCPR Legislative | Restrictions in Alabama

Restrictions in Alabama


Smoking, Age and Sampling Restrictions in Alabama

Alabama state law prohibits smoking “in a public place or at a public meeting,” which includes auditoriums, elevators, hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, courtrooms, jury waiting rooms and deliberation rooms, theatres, museums, common areas of retirement homes, restaurants, laundromats, health facilities, educational facilities, shopping malls, government buildings, sports and recreational facilities, places of employment, airports, banks, retail stores, service establishments, and any meeting open to the public unless held in a private residence.


Ala. Code § 22-15A-4


Alabama law allows any county, city, town, or village to adopt and enforce local laws, ordinances, or regulations that comply with at least the minimum applicable standards of its smoking restrictions.


Ala. Code § 22-15A-10



The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Bars and lounges, where the establishment is primarily devoted to the serving of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises and in which food service is only incidental to the consumption of beverages
  • Licensed retail tobacco stores and tobacco businesses
  • Limousines used under private hire by an individual or corporation
  • Designated hotel and motel rooms
  • Separated, well-ventilated areas in a chemical dependency treatment or mental health program


Ala. Code § 22-15A-4


Alabama law does not provide a specific application procedure to qualify for exemption from the smoking ban. Localities may have specific requirements.

Individuals under the age of 19 cannot purchase, use, possess, or transport tobacco, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products in Alabama. However, it is not illegal for a person under the age of 19 who is an employee of a tobacco, tobacco product, or alternative nicotine product permit holder to handle, transport, or sell tobacco, tobacco products, or alternative tobacco products if

  • the minor employee is acting within the line and scope of employment, and
  • the permit holder, or an employee of the permit holder who is 21 years of age or older, is present.


Ala. Code § 28-11-13


Any person who distributes tobacco or tobacco products within the state must conspicuously post a sign stating that

  • Alabama law strictly prohibits the purchase of tobacco products by persons under the age of 19.
  • Proof of age is required for the purchase of tobacco products.


Ala. Code § 28-11-15


Alabama law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local youth access laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.

Federal regulations prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limit free samples of smokeless tobacco products to certain age-restricted venues under several conditions.


Regulations Restricting the Sale, Distribution, and Marketing of Cigarettes, Cigarette Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco: Consumer Fact Sheet

In Alabama, no tobacco or tobacco products, except cigars, may be distributed unless in an original factory-wrapped container.


Ala. Code § 28-11-6


Entities that have not obtained privilege licenses under Code of Alabama 1975 §40-12-72 or §40-12-73 but wish to distribute samples or promotional tobacco products in Alabama must file an Application for Permit to Transport & Distribute Taxable Tobaccos (Form TOB: Rep-A), along with a $50 application fee.


Ala. Code § 40-25-19


All other tobacco products distributed as samples, gratis, or for promotional reasons will be taxed in accordance with the provisions of §40-25-2(a)(8) and §40-25-2.1, Code of Alabama 1975. The appropriate tax will be paid by filing the Monthly State Tobacco Tax Return (Form TOB: OTP), along with payment for the taxes due.


Ala. Admin. Code r. 810-7-1-.07


Alabama law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

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