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Tobacco Retailer Permit


Tobacco Retailer Permit Program

San Mateo County’s Tobacco Program is responsible for issuing tobacco retailer permits and performing inspections for any tobacco retailer who sells any tobacco products in unincorporated areas and in participating cities. 

On May 23, 2023, the County Board of Supervisors approved an amended tobacco ordinance. 

The ordinance prohibits the sale of:​
– Flavored tobacco products that include but are not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuffs, snus, hookah, shisha, flavor enhancers, e-cigarettes, e-liquids, pods, or any other vape device. 
– E-cigarette products that include but are not limited to any electronic smoking device and any substances that may be aerosolized or vaporized by such device, whether or not the substance contains nicotine and is natural or synthetic. 

The ordinance prohibits new tobacco retailer permits issued at:
– Any location within 1,000 feet of a youth-populated area
– Any location within 500 feet of a location already occupied by another tobacco retailer 
– A non-fixed location such as a vehicle or other forms of mobile vending
– Temporary events such as flea markets and farmers’ markets 

The information above is not a comprehensive list of all ordinance requirements. Please refer to Ordinance No. 4878 for all requirements. 


How to Apply for a Tobacco Retailer Permit 

How to Apply for a Tobacco Retailer Permit 

1. Complete a Tobacco Retailer Permit Application
2. Submit application to

Tobacco Retailer Permits are non-transferable between persons, locations, etc. Any attempted transfer will render the permit null and void.