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Retail Tobacco Vendor License

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Required by any person selling or giving away tobacco products. (Ord. 82-0-96)

TERM: Calendar Year.

FEE: Per location.$500

RENEWABLE: Yes. Invoice mailed by City of Evanston in November.

TRANSFERABLE: No. New owner must submit application to Health Department and receive license before any sales may take place.

CONTACT: Ellyn Golden, Environmental Health License Coordinator, (847) 866-2947 or

APPLICATION: Tobacco License Application (printable version)

APPLY ONLINE HERE: Tobacco License Online Application

NOTE: tobacco products may not be sold within 150 feet (lot line to lot line) of any high school, middle school or elementary school or by use of vending machines unless such vending machines are located in areas not open to the public.

IMPORTANT: No food or beverage may be sold, served or consumed in a licensed establishment that permits smoking.


  • All businesses, including all restaurants, bars, and sidewalk cafes;
  • All public enclosed areas, all workplaces, all schools;
  • Beaches, playgrounds and tot lots;
  • All common areas in apartment buildings and condominiums and housing cooperatives; and
  • Within 25 feet of any entrance to an enclosed area in which smoking is prohibited.

The Evanston Clean Air Act prohibits smoking of any kind in places that serve food or beverages.  Additionally, if sampling or smoking of tobacco products will take place on the premises, the code calls for 25 feet of distance from any door, open window, ventilation system, etc.  Typically, this means the establishment would need to be a stand alone business and not be in a multi-use structure. 

Hookah Bar is not a defined use in the Evanston Zoning Ordinance and is therefore a prohibited use.

Evanston City Code

  •  Chapter 14:  Cigarettes, Tobacco and Liquid Nicotine Products
  •  111-O-14 Amending Legal Tobacco Purchasing Age -  Increase the Age of Sale and Purchase of Tobacco or Liquid Nicotine Products to Twenty-One (21) Years of Age

Tobacco Tax/Cook County

Illinois Department of Revenue