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The Tobacco Laboratory, within TTB's Scientific Services Division, analyzes tobacco products to assist TTB in determining whether a product falls within one of the definitions of tobacco products found in 26 U.S.C. 5702. Tobacco products include cigars, cigarettes, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products (i.e., chewing tobacco and snuff). Proper tax determination is important because the Federal excise tax and other regulatory requirements vary by tobacco product.
The Laboratory evaluates tobacco products that are collected by our inspectors and auditors, and also products submitted by Federal and State agencies. Laboratory analysis is the first step in determining whether a product is a tobacco product, and if so, whether the product has been correctly classified.
After the Laboratory analyzes a product, it submits its findings to TTB's Regulations and Rulings Division (RRD), which evaluates the overall product and the Laboratory report in the context of the statutory definitions. RRD makes the final tax classification determination.
Tobacco product manufacturers and importers have the initial responsibility for determining whether their products are appropriately classified for Federal excise tax purposes.