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Tobacco FAQs


We make every attempt to update the answers to these questions to reflect the latest changes in our regulations and other Federal requirements. To comment on this page or to suggest a question, please email the Regulations and Rulings Division at For other inquiries see out Contact Us page.

If you want to know about recent changes in the law and regulations, you may visit the following Websites: THOMAS (The Library of Congress) and The Federal Register. If you are concerned with the accuracy of this information, please contact TTB or your legal advisor.


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”?


What Federal laws does the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) enforce concerning tobacco products?


What other Federal laws relate to tobacco products and who enforces these other Federal laws?


Who can I contact about a person selling cigarettes that were intended to be given free to customers (for example, buy one pack and get one free)?


Who can I contact about a person in the United States selling cigarettes that are marked "Tax-exempt. For use outside U.S." or with a similar notice?


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


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


What is required to sell tobacco on the Internet?


Does the TTB have information or studies about the effects of using tobacco?


How does the TTB inform people of proposed and final changes to the regulations?


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?


What are tobacco products?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Are cigarettes marked "not for sale" or "complimentary" subject to the new Floor Stocks Tax in 2002?


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?


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


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?


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?

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


Page last reviewed: July 7, 2013
Page last updated: January 18, 2018
Maintained by: Regulations and Rulings Division

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