Arkansas

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
Miscellaneous Tax
(501) 682-7187
(501) 682-1103 fax
misc.tax@dfa.arkansas.gov

Arkansas Tobacco Control
(501) 682-9756
(501) 682-9760 fax

Arkansas Secretary of State
Elections Division
(501) 682-5070
electionsemail@sos.arkansas.gov

PCA Contact

Brett Mecum brett@premiumcigars.org

Legislative Information

Taxation

Arkansas imposes excise or privilege taxes on tobacco products other than cigarettes that are offered for sale in the state. The taxes must be reported and paid by licensed wholesalers making the first sale in the state. However, retailers who purchase tobacco products directly from a manufacturer or from an unlicensed wholesaler and consumers who purchase untaxed tobacco products from outside the state are also liable for the tax.

Ark. Code § 26-57-208(2-3): Levy of tax; rates of tax

Ark. Code § 26-57-803(b): Additional tax; applicability

Ark. Code § 26-57-805: Additional tax of seven percent on tobacco products other than cigarettes

Ark. Code § 26-57-807: Additional tax of thirty-six percent on tobacco products other than cigarettes

Ark. Code § 26-57-1102: Additional tax; tobacco products other than cigarettes

Department of Finance and Administration staff reported that Arkansas localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.

The tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes is 68% of the invoice price to a wholesaler or retailer, before discounts, except that the total amount of the excise or privilege taxes on cigars may not exceed $0.50 per cigar.

Ark. Code § 26-57-208(2): Levy of tax; rates of tax

Ark. Code § 26-57-803(b): Additional tax; applicability

Ark. Code § 26-57-805: Additional tax of seven percent on tobacco products other than cigarettes

Ark. Code § 26-57-807: Additional tax of thirty-six percent on tobacco products other than cigarettes

Ark. Code § 26-57-1102: Additional tax; tobacco products other than cigarettes

Arkansas HB 1565 (2019) This measure removes the existing provision that requires an Arkansas city to impose the same tax rate on cigarettes as an adjacent city across a state line.

On or before the 15th day of each month, every wholesaler must file an Other Tobacco Products Excise Tax Return (Form OTP-1) and Schedule A, along with payment for taxes due. These forms are required to be filed monthly, even if no activity occurred. Retailers who purchase tobacco products directly from a manufacturer or from an unlicensed wholesaler and consumers who purchase untaxed tobacco products from outside the state are also liable for the tax. Form OTP-1 and Schedule A can be filed online through the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Other Tobacco Products Excise Tax Return Information and InstructionsForm OTP-1
Arkansas Taxpayer Access PointAccess Point

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

 “Smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco, and other lighted combustible plant material.

Ark. Code § 20-27-1803(16)

Tobacco products” means all products containing tobacco for consumption, including without limitation cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco, snuff, smoking tobacco, including pipe tobacco, and smoking tobacco substitutes.

Ark. Code § 26-57-203(31)

Cigar” means any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco, other than any roll of tobacco that is a cigarette.

Ark. Code § 26-57-203(3)

Retailer” means a person that purchases tobacco products from licensed wholesalers for the purpose of selling the tobacco products over the counter at retail to consumers.

Ark. Code § 26-57-203(26)

Wholesaler” means a person other than a manufacturer or a person owned or operated by a manufacturer that:

  • Does business within the state and purchases unstamped or untaxed cigarettes or other tobacco products directly from manufacturers that distribute tobacco products in the state, and
  • Sells to properly licensed cigarette or other tobacco product vendors or retailers

Ark. Code § 26-57-203(35)

Manufacturer” means a person that produces or offers a tobacco product for sale, including without limitation federally licensed importers and distributors that deal in tobacco products as manufacturers and that are required under this subchapter to sell only to licensed wholesalers or licensed retailers located in the state.

Ark. Code § 26-57-203(18)

The First sale” means the sale of tobacco products made by a manufacturer to licensed wholesalers and licensed vendors or a licensed retailer.

Ark. Code § 26-57-203(11)

Invoice price” means the price that a wholesaler or retailer of tobacco products pays to a manufacturer, importer, or distributor for tobacco products that the wholesaler or retailer subsequently sells in the state.

Ark. Code § 26-57-203(15)

Sale” or “sell” means a transfer, exchange, or barter in any manner or by any means for any consideration, including distributing or shipping product in connection with a sale.

Ark. Code § 26-57-203(27)

Restrictions

Arkansas law prohibits smoking in/at the following locations:

  • Vehicles and enclosed areas owned, leased, or operated by the state, its agencies and authorities, and any political subdivision of the state, municipal corporation, or local board or authority created by general, local, or special act of the General Assembly or by ordinance or resolution of the governing body of a county or municipal corporation individually or jointly with other political subdivisions or municipalities of the state
  • Public places, including banks, bars, educational facilities, health care facilities, laundromats, public transportation facilities, reception areas, restaurants, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and waiting rooms
  • Enclosed areas within places of employment, including common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, health care facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms, and all other enclosed areas
  • Motor vehicles in which a child who is under 14 years of age is a passenger
  • The grounds of all medical facilities
  • Child day care centers
  • The state Capitol building
  • Real property owned or leased by a public school district, including a public charter school or in school buses
  • Each campus of state-supported institutions of higher education

Ark. Code § 20-27-1804: Prohibitions on smoking
Ark. Code § 20-27-1803: Definitions
Ark. Code § 20-27-1903: Tobacco use; prohibitions
Ark. Code § 20-27-706: Prohibition of smoking at medical facilities
Ark. Code § 20-78-217: Smoking prohibited; legislative intent
Ark. Code § 22-3-220: Smoking in State Capitol Building prohibited
Ark. Code § 6-21-609: Prohibition against smoking, the use of tobacco or tobacco products, or the use of e-cigarettes
Ark. Code § 6-60-804: Prohibitions on smoking

“No Smoking” signs or the international “No Smoking” symbol consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it may be clearly and conspicuously posted by the owner, operator, manager, or other person in control in every public place and place of employment in which smoking is prohibited.

Ark. Code § 20-27-1806: Notice of prohibition of smoking

State law is cumulative and does not prohibit the enactment of any other general or local laws, rules, or regulations of state or local governing authorities or local ordinances prohibiting smoking that are more restrictive than or are in direct conflict with state law.

Ark. Code § 20-27-1808: Subchapter deemed cumulative

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Private residences except when used as a licensed child care, adult daycare, or health care facility
  • Designated hotel and motel guest rooms
  • All workplaces of any employer with fewer than 3 employees, except that this exemption does not apply to any public place
  • A permitted retail tobacco store, if secondhand smoke from the store does not infiltrate into areas in which smoking is prohibited
    • A “retail tobacco store” is a retail store utilized primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental.
  • Areas within long-term care facilities that are designated by the long-term care facilities as a smoking area or for supervised patient smoking only
  • Outdoor areas of places of employment
  • All workplaces of any manufacturer, importer, or wholesaler of tobacco products, of any tobacco leaf dealer or processor, and all tobacco storage facilities
  • All restaurants and bars licensed by the State of Arkansas that prohibit at all times all persons under 21 years of age from entering the premises, if secondhand smoke does not infiltrate into areas in which smoking is prohibited
    • To qualify for exemption from the smoking ban, bars and restaurants must submit an Exemption Certification form to the Arkansas Department of Health. 
  • Designated smoking areas on the gaming floor of any franchisee of the Arkansas Racing Commission

Ark. Code § 20-27-1805: Exemptions

Ark. Code § 20-27-1803: Definitions

Arkansas SB 667 (2019) allows a casino licensee to exempt a designated smoking area on the gaming floor from the Clean Indoor Air Act.

Arkansas HB 1565 (2019) This measure amends the definition of a minor to mean a person under the age of 21. This definition does not include a person under 21 who presents military identification or has turned 19 as of December 31, 2019.

Any law that requires a person to be of a minimum age of 21 to enjoy any privilege or right or to do any act or to participate in any activity must be deemed to require that person to be of a minimum age of 18 years. This section does not repeal, amend, or otherwise affect any existing laws concerning or in any way relating to alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, vapor products, alternative nicotine products, e-liquid products, or cigarette papers, and the sale of them to persons under 21.

Arkansas HB 1565 (2019) allows law enforcement to confiscate tobacco or vapor products possessed by minors. It also increases the price of acting as a retailer licensee of tobacco and increases the tax on cigarette papers.

Ark. Code § 5-27-227: Providing minors with tobacco products and cigarette papers; purchase, use or possession prohibited; self-service displays prohibited; placement of tobacco vending machines

Department of Labor staff reported that the Arkansas Code contains no provisions specifying a minimum age to work in tobacco retail stores and that the minimum age to work is 14.

It is unlawful for any person who has been issued a tobacco permit to fail to display in a conspicuous place or on each vending machine a sign indicating that the sale of tobacco products to or purchase or possession of tobacco products by a minor is prohibited by law.

Ark. Code § 5-27-227(e): Providing minors with tobacco products and cigarette papers; purchase, use or possession prohibited; self-service displays prohibited; placement of tobacco vending machines

Arkansas law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local youth access laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.

In Arkansas, it is illegal for any person to distribute a free sample of any tobacco product or coupon that entitles the holder of the coupon to any free sample of any tobacco product:

  • In or on any public street or sidewalk within 500 feet of any playground, public school, or other facilities when the playground, public school, or other facility is being used primarily by minors for recreational, educational, or other purposes; or
  • To any minor

Ark. Code § 5-27-227: Providing minors with tobacco products and cigarette papers; purchase, use or possession prohibited; self-service displays prohibited; placement of tobacco vending machines

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration staff reported that tobacco samples are subject to the tobacco tax. Arkansas Tobacco Control staff reported that the distribution of tobacco samples is subject to licensing requirements and that individuals distributing samples should obtain a Sales Representative’s License. 

Arkansas law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

Operating Your Business

Arkansas HB 1980 (2019) requires any person engaged in buying, selling, or otherwise doing business in tobacco products, vapor products, alternative nicotine products, or e-liquid products in this state to receive a proper permit.

This measure requires that any permitted wholesaler and warehouse that handles, receives, stores, sells and disposed of tobacco products, vapor products, alternative nicotine products, or e-liquid products in any manner must file a report with the Department of Finance and Administration monthly. The report must include:

  1. A statement of the tobacco products, vapor products, alternative nicotine products, and e-liquid products on hand at the beginning of the preceding month
  2. The receipts and disbursements of tobacco products, vapor products, alternative nicotine products, and e-liquid products handled during the preceding month 
  3. Any other information about the purchases and sales as may be prescribed by the director (Page 15)

This measure requires tobacco retailers to maintain copies of at least the last 90 days of tobacco product, vapor product, alternative nicotine product, or e-liquid product invoices, which the retailer must provide immediately upon demand. Invoices older than 90 days are required to be made available upon demand at any time during normal business hours in the retail store. (Page 16)

This measure requires a wholesaler of tobacco, vapor, alternative nicotine, or e-liquid products to receive a wholesale permit. Every wholesaler’s or manufacturer’s salesperson of any such product who contacts a retailer in the state to solicit or process orders must first acquire a salesperson’s permit.

Arkansas HB 1980 (2019)


No person may deal with, deliver, or cause to be delivered to a retailer or consumer or otherwise do business in tobacco products in Arkansas without having first registered with and obtained a permit from the Director of Arkansas Tobacco Control. Separate permits must be obtained for each place of business. 

Ark. Code § 26-57-214: Registration and licensing required prior to doing business


Every retailer of tobacco products other than cigarettes must obtain a Retail Tobacco Permit for each place of business by submitting a Retail Cigarette and Tobacco Permit Application (Form ATC-RI) and a fee based on the following schedule:

weekly gross tobacco salesfee
Retailers with weekly gross tobacco sales less than $5,000$20
Retailers with weekly gross tobacco sales between $5,000 and $15,000$30
Retailers with weekly gross tobacco sales in excess of $15,000$50

Ark. Code § 26-57-215(b)(4): Permits and licenses; types

Ark. Code § 26-57-219(a)(5): Permits and licenses; annual privilege tax


Every wholesaler of a tobacco product other than cigarettes must obtain:

  1. a Wholesale Tobacco Permit for each place of business by submitting an Application for Wholesale Tobacco Permit (Form ATC-W2)
  2. an Affidavit by Applicant for Wholesalers Tobacco Products Permit (Form ATC-W4)
  3. a $1,000 fee

Ark. Code § 26-57-215(b)(2): Permits and licenses; types

Ark. Code § 26-57-219(a)(2): Permits and licenses; annual privilege tax

All tobacco permits expire each year on June 30th and must be renewed online through the Arkansas Tobacco Control Permit and Fine Payment System.

Ark. Code § 26-57-219(b): Permits and licenses; annual privilege tax


All new tobacco businesses in Arkansas must also register with the Department of Finance and Administration to file and pay the tobacco taxes by submitting the Combined Business Tax Registration (Form AR-1R). New businesses can register online through the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point (select “New Business Registration”).

On or before the 15th day of each month, every wholesaler must file an Other Tobacco Products Excise Tax Return (Form OTP-1) and Schedule A, along with payment for taxes due. These forms are required to be filed monthly, even if no activity occurred. Retailers who purchase tobacco products directly from a manufacturer or from an unlicensed wholesaler and consumers who purchase untaxed tobacco products from outside the state are also liable for the tax. Form OTP-1 and Schedule A can be filed online through the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point.

Ark. Code § 26-57-211: Wholesaler to pay taxes; reports and remittance of tax


The following establishments may allow both smoking and drinking within their establishments, subject to conditions:

  • All restaurants and bars licensed by the State of Arkansas that prohibit at all times all persons under 21 years of age from entering the premises, if secondhand smoke does not infiltrate into areas in which smoking is prohibited.

To qualify for exemption from the smoking ban, bars and restaurants must submit an Exemption Certification form to the Arkansas Department of Health. 

Ark. Code § 20-27-1805: Exemptions

Localities may require additional business licenses.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Arkansas Tobacco ControlTobacco Forms
Retail Cigarette and Tobacco Permit ApplicationForm ATC-RI (7-2019)
Wholesale Tobacco Permit ApplicationForm ATC-W2
Wholesale Tobacco Permit Application – InstructionsInstructions
Affidavit by Applicant for Wholesalers Tobacco Products PermitForm ATC-W4
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration – RegistrationRegistration Forms
Combined Business Tax RegistrationForm AR-1R
Combined Business Tax Registration – InstructionsForm AR-1R

Political Involvement

 “Lobbying” means communicating directly or soliciting others to communicate with any public servant with the purpose of influencing legislative action or administrative action.

Ark. Code § 21-8-402(10)

Lobbyist” means a person who:

  • Receives income or reimbursement in a combined amount of $400 or more in a calendar quarter for lobbying 1 or more governmental bodies;
  • Expends $400 or more in a calendar quarter for lobbying 1 or more governmental bodies, excluding the cost of personal travel, lodging, meals, or dues; or
  • Expends $400 or more in a calendar quarter, including postage, for the express purpose of soliciting others to communicate with any public servant to influence any legislative action or administrative action of 1 or more governmental bodies unless the communication has been filed with the Secretary of State or the communication has been published in the news media. If the communication is filed with the Secretary of State, the filing shall include the approximate number of recipients

Ark. Code § 21-8-402(11)

Legislative action” means introduction, sponsorship, consideration, debate, amendment, passage, defeat, approval, veto, or any other official action or nonaction on any bill, ordinance, law, resolution, amendment, nomination, appointment, report, or other matter pending or proposed before a committee or house of the General Assembly, a quorum court, or a city council or board of directors of a municipality.

Ark. Code § 21-8-402(8)

Administrative action” means any decision on, or proposal, consideration, or making of any rule, regulation, ratemaking proceeding, or policy action by a governmental body. “Administrative action” does not include ministerial action.

Ark. Code § 21-8-402(1)

A lobbyist must register within 5 days after beginning lobbying. Registrations are valid for one year, and lobbyists must re-register by January 15th of each year. Within 15 days after the end of each calendar quarter, each registered lobbyist must file a complete and detailed Quarterly Lobbyist Activity Report. A registered lobbyist who lobbies members of the General Assembly must file a Monthly Lobbyist Activity Report within 10 days after the end of each month in which the General Assembly is in session. A Quarterly Lobbyist Activity Report is not required if the registered lobbyist has filed Monthly Lobbyist Activity Reports for each month of the calendar quarter.

Ark. Code § 21-8-601: Registration required; exceptions; termination

Ark. Code § 21-8-603: Activity reports; inspection

All Lobbyist Registration and Lobbyist Activity must be filed online with the Secretary of State.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Arkansas Ethics Commission: Rules on Lobbyist Registration and ReportingRegistration and Reporting Rules
Arkansas Secretary of State: Online FilingOnline Filing

Shipping Regulations

No person may deal with, deliver, or cause to be delivered to a retailer or consumer or otherwise do business in tobacco products in Arkansas without having first registered with and obtained a permit from the Director of Arkansas Tobacco Control. Separate permits must be obtained for each place of business.

Ark. Code § 26-57-214: Registration and licensing required prior to doing business


The Director of the Department of Finance and Administration or the Director of Arkansas Tobacco Control may, in his discretion require common carriers transporting tobacco products to give a statement of all consignments of tobacco products showing date, point of origin, point of delivery, and to whom delivered. All common carriers shall permit their records relating to shipment or receipt of tobacco products to be examined by the Director of the Department of Finance and Administration, the Director of Arkansas Tobacco Control, or their agents.

Every wholesaler of tobacco products doing business at or from an established place of business located within this state and authorized to purchase untaxed tobacco products on an open account directly from manufacturers who have general distribution of tobacco products in Arkansas, and who sell to licensed retailers, are prohibited from transporting cigarettes to which stamps have been affixed outside the boundaries of the State of Arkansas for warehousing or reentry into this state, or both, for either sale or resale.

Ark. Code § 26-57-230: Common Carriers

Ark. Code § 26-57-242: Wholesaler—Transporting cigarettes with stamps affixed outside the state for reentry.

Additional information about licensing in Arkansas is available under the Operating Your Business tab above.

Arkansas does not have any specific age verification requirements for the shipping of tobacco products.

Arkansas imposes excise or privilege taxes on tobacco products other than cigarettes that are offered for sale in the state. The taxes must be reported and paid by licensed wholesalers making the first sale in the state. Retailers who purchase tobacco products directly from a manufacturer or from an unlicensed wholesaler and consumers who purchase untaxed tobacco products from outside the state are also liable for the tax. 

There are no additional taxes on shipped tobacco products, except for cigarettes. Retailers and Wholesalers must pay all applicable taxes.

Ark. Code § 26-57-208(2-3): Levy of tax; rates of tax

Ark. Code § 26-57-803(b): Additional tax; applicability

Ark. Code § 26-57-805: Additional tax of seven percent on tobacco products other than cigarettes

Ark. Code § 26-57-807: Additional tax of thirty-six percent on tobacco products other than cigarettes

Ark. Code § 26-57-1102: Additional tax; tobacco products other than cigarettes


Disclaimer: PCA believes the information on this site is accurate. However, tobacco laws and regulations are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. Statements above are not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. PCA does not guarantee or assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of this information, nor that this information complies with all federal laws or the laws of all 50 states. Parties acknowledge and agree it is not the intention of PCA to provide specific legal advice for particular individuals, but rather to provide users with general information to better understand these issues. Users shall neither construe any of these materials as legal advice nor make this site the primary basis for any legal decisions made by or on your behalf and agree to release and waive any claims against PCA for the same. You shall consult with legal advisors concerning any contemplated individual decision.