New Hampshire

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration
Tobacco Unit
(603) 230-4359

New Hampshire Liquor Commission
Licensing Department
(603) 271-3523

New Hampshire Secretary of State
Administration
(603) 271-3242

PCA Contact

Rachel Hall rachel@premiumcigars.org

Legislative Information

Taxation

New Hampshire imposes a tax on retail consumers on tobacco products other than cigarettes and premium cigars. However, this tobacco product tax is pre-collected and paid by the wholesaler for the purposes of convenience and facility. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:7-c

Staff reported that New Hampshire localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.

New Hampshire HB 595 (2019) provides that a tax on all cigarettes and little cigars sold at retail in this state is imposed upon the consumer at the rate of $1.78 for each package containing 20 cigarettes or little cigars or at a rate proportional to such rate for packages containing other than 20 cigarettes or little cigars.

This measure also provides that a tax on all other tobacco products sold at retail in this state is imposed on the consumer at a rate of 65.03% of the wholesale sales price. The tax under this paragraph may be rounded to the nearest cent if the commissioner determines that the amount of tax would not thereby be made materially disproportionate. No such tax shall be imposed on premium cigars.

This measure will take effect on January 1, 2020.

Licensed wholesalers are required to file a Tobacco Tax Credit Bond (Form CD-18) to establish a charge account with the Department of Revenue Administration and a Wholesalers’ Other Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form DP-151) by the 15th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due. In addition, manufacturers are required to send the Department of Revenue a written report of OTP transported into New Hampshire on or before the 30th day following the end of each month.

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev. 1009

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
New Hampshire Administrative Rules: Chapter Revenue 1000: Tobacco TaxChapter Revenue 1000: Tobacco Tax
New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration: Tobacco Tax Forms and Instructions Tobacco Tax Forms and Instructions
Application for Tobacco Tax License (Manufacturers, Sub-Jobbers, and Wholesalers)Form DP-31
Tobacco Tax Credit BondForm CD-18
Wholesalers’ Other Tobacco Products Tax ReturnForm DP-151

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

 “Smoking” means having in one’s possession a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe, or any device designed to produce the effect of smoking.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 155:65(XV)

Tobacco products” means cigarettes, loose tobacco, smokeless tobacco, snuff, and cigars, but shall not include premium cigars.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:1(XIV)

Other tobacco products (OTP)” means all tobacco products other than cigarettes and premium cigars, including smokeless tobacco products, loose tobacco, and cigars.

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev. 1001.04

Premium cigars” are cigars that are made entirely by hand of all-natural tobacco leaf, hand-constructed, and hand wrapped, wholesaling for $2 or more, and weighing more than 3 pounds per 1000 cigars. These cigars must be kept in a humidor at the proper humidity.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:1(XXI)

Smokeless tobacco products” means any other tobacco product manufactured in such a manner as to be suitable for use by any method other than inhaling and exhaling burning tobacco products including the following: Cavendish tobacco, plug tobacco, twist and fine-cut tobacco, and any finely cut, ground, or powdered tobacco such as snus, snuff, and snuff flour.

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev. 1001.11

Snuff flour” is any finely cut, ground, or powdered tobacco that is dry and not intended to be smoked.

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev. 1001.12

Snus and snuff” mean any finely cut, ground, or powdered tobacco that is moist and not intended to be smoked.

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev. 1001.13

A “wholesaler” is any person doing business in New Hampshire who purchases all of his unstamped tobacco products directly from a licensed manufacturer, and who sells all of his products to licensed wholesalers, sub-jobbers, vending machine operators, and retailers.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:1(V)

A “sub-jobber” is any person doing business in this state who buys stamped tobacco products from a licensed wholesaler and who sells all of his tobacco products to other licensed sub-jobbers, vending machine operators, and retailers. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:1(VII)

A “retailer” is any person who sells tobacco products to consumers and any vending machine in which tobacco products are sold. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:1(XI)

A “manufacturer” is any person engaged in the business of importing, exporting, producing or manufacturing tobacco products who sells his product only to licensed wholesalers. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:1(III)

A “sampler” is any person who distributes free tobacco products to consumers for promotional purposes. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:1(XIX)

Sale” or “sell” refers to any transfer, whether by bargain, gift, exchange, barter, or otherwise.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:1(XIII)

E-cigarette” means any electronic smoking device composed of a mouthpiece, a  heating element, a battery, and electronic circuits that may or may not contain nicotine or e-liquid. This term shall include such devices whether they are manufactured as e-cigarettes, e-cigars, or e-pipes, or under any other product name.

New Hampshire HB 511 (2019)

Restrictions

New Hampshirelaw prohibits smoking in public educational facilities at any time; childcare agencies during the hours of operation; hospitals and other acute care facilities; grocery stores by customers; elevators, tramways, gondolas, and other such public conveyances; public conveyances; restaurants; cocktail lounges; and enclosed places owned and operated by social, fraternal, or religious organizations when open to the general public.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 155:66


In 2003, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that the state Indoor Smoking Act (codified at N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 155:64 – § 155:77) “constitutes a comprehensive and detailed statutory scheme” with “no statutory provision permitting additional municipal regulation of smoking” and that, therefore, state law preempts local ordinances more stringent than state law concerning indoor smoking.

J.T.R. Colebrook, Inc. v. Town of Colebrook


New Hampshire HB 139 (2019)states that no person shall smoke tobacco or any other substance in any state park. Appropriate signage shall be placed on state park property as deemed necessary. The Commissioner of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is to promulgate rules to enforce restrictions on smoking.

New Hampshire HB 511 (2019) states that no person shall use any tobacco product, e-cigarette, liquid nicotine, THC vaporizer, or e-liquid in any public educational facility or on the grounds of any public educational facility.

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

  • Enclosed places of public access and publicly-owned buildings and offices, including workplaces in effectively segregated smoking-permitted areas designated by the person in charge
  • Public conveyances rented for private purposes
  • Buildings owned and operated by social, fraternal, or religious organizations when used by the membership of the organization, their guests or families, or when they are rented or leased for private functions from which the public is excluded, and arrangements are under the control of the sponsor of the function and not the organization
  • Guest rooms of hotels, motels, and resorts
  • Privately owned halls, ballrooms, dining rooms, and conference rooms of hotels, motels, restaurants, and resorts when rented or leased for private functions from which the public is excluded
  • Resident rooms in collegiate dormitories, public housing facilities, or long-term health and rehabilitation facilities
  • Patients with extraordinary medical conditions, psychiatric disorders, or patients in an alcohol and drug withdrawal program, provided that the patient’s physician has written a prescription allowing the patient to smoke
  • Cigar bars that have obtained a license from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission.
    • A cigar bar is a business that
      • Generates 60% or more of its quarterly gross revenue from the sale of cigar-related products, which is limited to cigars, humidors, cigar cutters, cigar cases, lighters, and ashtrays. Mail order and Internet sales, as well as revenue generated from other tobacco sales in-store, including cigarettes and loose tobacco sales, will not be used to determine whether an establishment satisfies the definition of a cigar bar.
      • Has a humidor on the premises
      • Does not allow any person under the age of 18 on the premises unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or adult spouse
      • Does not allow cigarette smoking or service of food on the premises

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 155:66: Smoking Prohibited
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 155:67: Exemptions

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 178:20-a: On-Premises Cigar, Beverage, and Liquor Licenses

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or use any tobacco product. However, this does not prohibit minors employed by any manufacturer, wholesaler, sub-jobber, vending machine operator, sampler, or retailer from performing the necessary handling of tobacco products during the duration of their employment.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 126-K:6


Dover and Keene have raised the age for tobacco sales, possession, and use to 21.

Similarly, it is illegal to sell, give, or furnish or cause or allow or procure to be sold, given, or furnished tobacco products to a minor.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 126-K:4


No person may use any tobacco products in any public educational facility or on the grounds of any public educational facility.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 126-K:7


New Hampshire law allows any county, city, town, village, or other political subdivision to adopt local laws, ordinances, and regulations that are more stringent than state law.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 126-K:14


New Hampshire HB 511 (2019) states that no person under 18 years of age shall purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or use any tobacco product, e-cigarette, device, e-liquid, or THC vaporizer.

In New Hampshire, no person may distribute or offer to distribute samples of tobacco products in a public place, except

  • In an area to which minors are denied access
  • In a store to which a retailer’s license has been issued
  • At factory sites, construction sites, conventions, trade shows, fairs, or motorsport facilities in areas to which minors are denied access

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 126-K:5


Each tobacco sampler must obtain a license for each individual engaged in public sampling from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission before engaging in the business of distributing tobacco products in New Hampshire. Licenses are obtained by filing a Liquor and Tobacco License Request for Application, along with supplemental documents based on the type of business. Licensees must also attend a Management Training Seminar within 45 days of receiving the license.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 178:19-c


Manufacturers providing a sample or gratis tobacco products, such as for sales or advertising campaigns, must, prior to distributing such packages, ship them to a New Hampshire licensed wholesaler. Wholesalers receiving sample or gratis tobacco products must (1) affix the appropriate tobacco tax stamps; or (2) issue an invoice stating that the tax has been collected. The wholesaler is responsible for obtaining reimbursement from the manufacturer for the cost of the tobacco tax stamp or the tax as applied to the usual wholesale price on theOTP.

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev. 1001.13


New Hampshire law allows any county, city, town, village, or other political subdivision to adopt local laws, ordinances, and regulations that are more stringent than state law.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 126-K:14

Operating Your Business

Each tobacco manufacturer, wholesaler, and sub-jobber must obtain a Tobacco Tax License from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration before engaging in the business of selling or distributing tobacco products in New Hampshire. Licenses are obtained by filing an Application for Tobacco Tax License (Form DP-31) and a license fee ($100 for manufacturers, $150 for sub-jobbers, and $250 for wholesalers). Licenses expire on June 30th of each even-numbered year and must be renewed by filing the same forms.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:2

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:4


Licensed wholesalers are also required to file a Tobacco Tax Credit Bond (Form CD-18) to establish a charge account with the Department of Revenue Administration and a Wholesalers’ Other Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form DP-151) by the 15th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due. In addition, manufacturers are required to send the Department of Revenue a written report of OTP transported into New Hampshire on or before the 30th day following the end of each month.

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev. 1009


Each tobacco retailer and sampler must obtain a license for each place of business or for each individual engaged in public sampling from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission before engaging in the business of selling or distributing tobacco products in New Hampshire. Licenses are obtained by filing a Liquor and Tobacco License Request for Application, along with supplemental documents based on the type of business. The Liquor and Tobacco License Request for Application can be found on the New Hampshire Liquor Commission website. Licensees must also attend a Management Training Seminar within 45 days of receiving the license.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 178:19-a

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 178:19-c


Cigar bars that have obtained a license from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission may be exempt from the ban on smoking.

  • A “cigar bar” is a business that
    • Generates 60% or more of its quarterly gross revenue from the sale of cigar-related products, which is limited to cigars, humidors, cigar cutters, cigar cases, lighters, and ashtrays. Mail order and Internet sales, as well as revenue generated from other tobacco sales in-store, including cigarettes and loose tobacco sales, will not be used to determine whether an establishment satisfies the definition of a cigar bar.
    • Has a humidor on the premises
    • Does not allow any person under the age of 18 on the premises unless accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or adult spouse
    • Does not allow cigarette smoking or service of food on the premises
  • Cigar bars may obtain a Liquor and Tobacco License by filing a Liquor and Tobacco License Request for Application, along with supplemental documents based on the type of business. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 155:66: Smoking Prohibited

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 155:67: Exemptions

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 178:20-a: On-Premises Cigar, Beverage, and Liquor Licenses

Localities may require additional business licenses.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
New Hampshire Administrative Rules: Chapter Revenue 1000: Tobacco TaxChapter Revenue 1000: Tobacco Tax
New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration: Tobacco Tax Forms and InstructionsTobacco Tax Forms and Instructions
Application for Tobacco Tax License (Manufacturers, Sub-Jobbers, and Wholesalers)Form DP-31
Tobacco Tax Credit BondForm CD-18
Wholesalers’ Other Tobacco Products Tax ReturnForm DP-151
New Hampshire Liquor Commission: Liquor and Tobacco LicensesLiquor and Tobacco Licenses
Liquor and Tobacco License Request for ApplicationRequest for Application
New Hampshire Liquor Commission Division of Enforcement: Retail Tobacco Online TrainingRetail Tobacco Online Training
New Hampshire Liquor Commission: Management Training Seminar Events ScheduleManagement Training Seminar Events Schedule

Political Involvement

A “lobbyist” is a person employed for consideration in a representative capacity to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, any legislation pending or proposed before the general court, or to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, any action by the governor, governor and council, or any state agency, where such action concerns legislation or contracts pending or proposed before the general court, any pending or proposed administrative rule, or the procurement of goods or services that are being or may be purchased by the state.

Lobbyist” does not include a person who:

  • Is employed to represent another only in an adjudicative proceeding or non-adjudicative process, other than a rulemaking proceeding or any process related to the purchasing of goods or services by the state, and who files an appearance with the authority conducting the matter; or 
  • Is an owner or employee, of a business seeking to do business with the state or communicating with an executive branch official or employee, a state agency, or an administrative official of the general court regarding goods or services that are being or may be purchased by the state.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:1

Lobbyists are required to register as a lobbyist with the New Hampshire Secretary of State. Each registration must report the existence of a relationship between a single client and either a single lobbyist or a partnership, firm, or corporation with one or more partners, members, or employees of a firm acting as a lobbyist. To register, a lobbyist must complete a Lobbyist Registration Form and pay a $50 fee for each reported client or employer. Registration must be renewed annually and expires on December 31st. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:1

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:4


Each lobbyist must also file itemized statements (Addendums A, B, and C) of: 

  • All fees received from any lobbying client that are related, directly or indirectly, to lobbying, such as public advocacy, government relations, or public relations services including research, monitoring legislation, and related legal work; 
  • All expenditures made from lobbying fees, including by whom paid or to whom charged.
  • Any honorarium or expense reimbursement or political contribution made by the lobbyist in his or her professional or personal capacity, on behalf of the lobbyist, the partnership, firm, or corporation or by the lobbyist on behalf of the client or employer or by a family member of the lobbyist.

Lobbyists must file these statements no later than the last Wednesday of each January, April, July, and October. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:6

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
New Hampshire Secretary of State: 2019 Lobbyists Forms2019 Lobbyists Forms

Shipping Regulations

New Hampshire does not have specific restrictions on the shipping of tobacco products to consumers. 

No sub-jobber, vending machine operator, or retailer, and no other person who is not licensed shall ship, import, transport, carry, or possess with or without intent to sell, any tobacco products without documentation of tax paid (via affixed stamps). This section shall not prevent any unlicensed person able to purchase unstamped tobacco products by statute from possessing such products for his or her own use or consumption if the tax otherwise due under this chapter is paid by the unlicensed person to the department directly. The provisions of this section shall not apply to common carriers transporting unstamped tobacco products. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:14: Tobacco Products


Wholesaler shipment contracts must be maintained by wholesalers and sub-jobbers to the extent applicable and be retained for a period of 3 years or until the resolution of any contested matters involved in an adjudicative proceeding or litigation with the department, whichever is later.

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev 1006.02: Content and maintenance of accounting records


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

Although there are age restrictions associated with the sale of tobacco products, there are no age verification requirements in state law with respect to shipping such products. 

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 126-K:4: Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products, E-cigarettes, or Liquid Nicotine to Minors Prohibited

New Hampshire imposes a tax on retail consumers on tobacco products other than cigarettes and premium cigars. However, this tobacco product tax is pre-collected and paid by the wholesaler for the purposes of convenience and facility. On or before the 30th day following the end of each month, every manufacturer shall send the department’s audit division a written report of unstamped cigarettes, gratis cigarettes, and other tobacco products transported into New Hampshire.

N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 78:7-c: Tax imposed on tobacco Products Other Than Cigarettes

N.H. Admin. Rules, Rev 1009.02: Manufacturer’s Report

Additional information about taxation in New Hampshire, including information about tax rates, filings, and forms, is available at the Taxation and Definitions link above.


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.