News and Events

Indian River County Raises Age to Purchase Tobacco to 21
April 6, 2021

The Indian River County Board of County Commissioners approved a county-wide ordinance on April 6, 2021, prohibiting the sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone younger than 21 years old within Indian River County.

The ordinance amends Chapter 73 on Tobacco Products, expanding the definition of tobacco products to include any product derived from tobacco or nicotine, including electronic cigarettes. The ordinance encourages all retailers where tobacco products can be purchased to display signage of the age requirement. In addition, the ordinance prohibits the self-service of tobacco products.

The changes to the previous tobacco ordinance reflect an effort to address the ongoing youth vaping crisis. According to the Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, one in four high school students and one in ten middle schools have reported current use of an e-cigarette device(1). Electronic cigarette devices typically contain nicotine and other harmful chemicals. These products became popular among youth due to their availability and flavors.  The long-term effects of e-cigarettes remain unknown; however, nicotine use in adolescence is not safe(2). 

The efforts of the Board of County Commissioners reflect the County’s interest in reducing the availability of these products to youth and promote health and safety among residents.

“The efforts of the Indian River County to adopt an ordinance strengthening the requirement for the sale of tobacco is a tremendous step in ensuring youth do not have access to these products,” said Savoie, facilitator of the Tobacco Free Partnership. “The unanimous passage of this ordinance shows the county’s commitment to protecting our youth from lifelong nicotine addiction.”

The local Tobacco Free Partnership addresses the youth vaping crisis and the importance of the retail point of sale. For more information on the local Tobacco Free Partnership, please email Kyleigh Savoie at


  1. Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS), Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology, 2019.
  2. US Department of Health and Human Services. E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon Genera. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016. Accessed August 21, 2020