Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Tobacco General

Laws and RegulationsTobacco Sales/Internet SalesPermits/Business RequirementsImporting/Exporting
Personal Use
Tobacco ProductsAdvertisingMiscellaneousOther Tobacco FAQs


Laws and Regulations


What federal laws does the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) enforce concerning tobacco products?  [T2]

What other federal laws relate to tobacco products and who enforces these federal laws?  [T3]

How does TTB inform the public of proposed and final changes to the regulations?  [T10]


Tobacco Sales/Internet Sales


What do I need to know about ordering tobacco products, such as cigarettes, through the Internet? Can I receive these products "tax free" or "duty free"?  [T1]

Who can I contact about a person selling cigarettes or other tobacco products that were intended to be free for customers (for example, buy one pack and get one free)?  [T4]

Who can I contact about a person in the United States selling cigarettes or other tobacco products that are marked "Tax-exempt for use outside U.S." or with a similar notice?  [T5]

Does the TTB require anything to sell tobacco products on the Internet?  [T8]

Is the sale of a single cigarette, loose cigarettes or other tobacco products legal?  [T17]

Are cigarettes marked "not for sale" or "complimentary" subject to the Floor Stocks Tax?  [T21]


Permits/Business Requirements


What must I do if I want to start a business that sells, manufactures or imports tobacco?  [T6]

Can a business get back the tax money from alcohol or tobacco if the product is destroyed in a disaster such as a fire, earthquake, flood, or tornado?  [T11]

If I grow tobacco, do I need a license or permit from the TTB?  [T16]

When do TTB's recordkeeping and reporting requirements begin for manufacturers and importers of processed tobacco, and for manufacturers of tobacco products who remove processed tobacco other than for destruction, who are operating under the transitional rule?  [T24]

Do I need a permit from TTB to manufacture or sell e-cigarettes or other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)?  [T26]




What must I do if I want to import tobacco for personal use?  [T7]

Can I import cigars made in Cuba into the United States?  [T18]

How can I obtain more information on Industry Circular 2004-3, Alcohol and Tobacco Export Documentation Procedures?  [T23]


Personal Use


What must I do if I want to import tobacco for personal use?  [T7]

May I purchase, for my personal consumption or use, tobacco products or cigarette papers or tubes on which Federal excise tax has not been paid?  [T22]


Tobacco Products


What are tobacco products?  [T12]

How does the TTB classify a tobacco product commonly referred to as "bidi", "beedi" and "biri"?  [T15]




Does the TTB regulate the advertising of tobacco products or cigarette papers or tubes?  [T13]

Does the TTB enforce the Surgeon General's warning on certain tobacco products?  [T14]




Does the TTB conduct studies or collect information about the effects of using tobacco?  [T9]

Does the TTB regulate the age of individuals who can purchase, use, possess, sell, or otherwise deal in, tobacco products?  [T19]

Can TTB supply me with the names, addresses and other information about manufacturers, importers, wholesalers or retailers of tobacco products?  [T20]

May manufacturers and importers of large cigars exclude the "Tobacco Buyout" assessments paid to the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation from the taxable price of large cigars?  [T25]

Can I export tobacco products to Russia and Belarus? Can I export tobacco products to Russia and Belarus?  [T27]



Other Tobacco FAQs

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Questions about FAQs? To comment on this page or to suggest a question, please contact the Regulations and Rulings Division using the contact us form or by telephone at 202-453-2265. For other inquiries see our Contact Us page or the TTB Online Help Center.








The exportation of certain tobacco products to Russia or Belarus, or to Russian or Belarusian individuals on the Office of Foreign  Assets Control’s (OFAC) list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), wherever located, is prohibited effective March 11, 2022. See the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) Final Rule “Imposition of Sanctions on ‘Luxury Goods’ Destined for Russia and Belarus and for Russian and Belarusian Oligarchs and Malign Actors Under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR),” (March 16, 2022). You also may contact the BIS Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls (NSTTC) for additional information.

Last reviewed/updated: 03/16/2022

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Page last reviewed: July 7, 2013
Page last updated: March 16, 2022
Maintained by: Regulations and Rulings Division