New Jersey

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

New Jersey Department of the Treasury
Division of Taxation
(609) 292-6400

New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission
(609) 292-8700

PCA Contact

Rachel Hall rachel@premiumcigars.org

Legislative Information

Taxation

New Jersey imposes a tax on the sale, use, or distribution of tobacco products within the state. Every distributor or wholesaler will be liable to pay the tax when it has sold or otherwise disposed of the tobacco product to the retail dealer or consumer. The retail dealer or consumer will be given an invoice, receipt, or other statement or memorandum stating that the tax has been paid or will be paid by the distributor or wholesaler. If a distributor or wholesaler fails to pay the tax, then the tax will be payable by the retail dealer or consumer.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-3: Tax of 30% imposed on the wholesale sale, use, distribution of tobacco product

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-4: Payment of tax by the distributor, wholesaler

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-5: Liability for payment of tax

Division of Taxation staff reported that New Jersey localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.

The tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes is 30% of the invoice price the distributor pays to buy the products from the manufacturer, except that the tax on moist snuff is $0.75 per ounce, with a proportionate tax rate for fractional parts.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-3: Tax of 30% imposed on the wholesale sale, use, distribution of tobacco product

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-3.1: Tax imposed upon sale, use, distribution of moist snuff


New Jersey AB 5285 (2019) imposes a 10% tax on the retail sale of container e-liquid. The bill also exempts container e-liquid from the wholesale liquid nicotine tax, which pursuant to the bill, will only apply to non-container e-liquid. The measure will take effect on November 1, 2019.

Every distributor or wholesaler required to pay the tobacco products tax must file a Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form TPT-20) and all applicable schedules on or before the 20th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due. Tax returns and payments may be submitted through the Department of the Treasury’s website.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-8: Contents of return

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Department of the Treasury: Tobacco Products Tax FormsTobacco Products Tax Forms

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

Smoking” means the burning of, inhaling from, exhaling the smoke from, or the possession of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe or any other matter or substance which contains tobacco or any other matter that can be smoked, or the inhaling or exhaling of smoke or vapor from an electronic smoking device.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:3D-57

Tobacco products” are any products containing any tobacco for personal consumption including, but not limited to, cigars, little cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, smoking tobacco and their substitutes, and dry and moist snuff, but does not include cigarette.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

Dry snuff” is any finely cut, ground or powdered smokeless tobacco that is intended to be sniffed through the nasal cavity, but does not include moist snuff.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

Moist snuff” is any finely cut, ground or powdered smokeless tobacco that is intended to be placed or dipped in the oral cavity, but does not include dry snuff.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

A “distributor” is:

  • a person engaged in the business of selling tobacco products in New Jersey who brings, or causes to be brought into the state a tobacco product for sale within the state
  • a person who makes or manufactures tobacco products in New Jersey for sale in the state
  • a person engaged in the business of selling tobacco products without New Jersey who ships or transports tobacco products to a person in the state to be sold to a retail dealer, or
  • a person who receives tobacco products on which the tax has not or will not be paid by another distributor

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

A “wholesaler” is a person, wherever resident or located, other than a distributor, who:

  • purchases tobacco products from any other person who purchases from the manufacturer and who acquires tobacco products solely for the purpose of bona fide resale to retail dealers or to other persons for the purposes of resale only, or
  • services retail outlets by the maintenance of an established place of business for the purchase of tobacco products including, but not limited to, the maintenance of warehousing facilities for the storage and distribution of tobacco products

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

A “retail dealer” is a person who is engaged in this State in the business of selling any tobacco product at retail. A person placing a tobacco product vending machine at, or on any premises will be deemed to be a retail dealer for each vending machine.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

A “manufacturer” is a person, wherever resident or located, who manufactures or produces, or causes to be manufactured or produced, a tobacco product and sells, uses, stores or distributes the product regardless of whether it is intended for sale, use or distribution within or without New Jersey.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

Wholesale price” means the actual price for which a manufacturer sells tobacco products to a distributor.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

Sale”means any sale, transfer, exchange, barter, or gift, in any manner or by any means whatsoever.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2

Restrictions

Smoking is prohibited in an indoor public place or workplace or at a public park or beach. Smoking is also prohibited in any area of any building of, or on the grounds of, any public or nonpublic elementary or secondary school, regardless of whether the area is an indoor public place or is outdoors.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:3D-58: Smoking prohibited in an indoor public place, workplace


The person in control of an indoor public place or workplace must place in every public entrance to the indoor public place or workplace a sign, which must be located so as to be clearly visible to the public and must contain letters or a symbol that contrast in color with the sign, indicating that smoking is prohibited within, except in designated smoking areas. The sign must also indicate that violators are subject to a fine. The person having control of the indoor public place or workplace must post a sign stating “Smoking Permitted” in letters at least one inch in height or marked by the international symbol for “Smoking Permitted” in those areas where smoking is permitted.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:3D-61: Signage, requirements


The provisions of the Smoke-Free Air Act supersedes any other statute, municipal ordinance, and rule or regulation adopted pursuant to law concerning smoking in an indoor public place or workplace, except where smoking is prohibited by municipal ordinance for purposes of protecting life and property from fire or protecting public health, and except for those provisions of a municipal ordinance that provide restrictions on or prohibitions against smoking equivalent to, or greater than, those provided under state law.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:3D-63: Supersede of other law, etc.

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

  • any cigar bar or cigar lounge that, in the calendar year ending December 31, 2004, generated 15 percent or more of its total annual gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors, not including any sales from vending machines, and is registered with the local board of health in the municipality in which the bar or lounge is located.
    • The registration shall remain in effect for one year and shall be renewable only if: (1) In the preceding calendar year, the cigar bar or lounge generated 15 percent or more of its total annual gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors; and (2) The cigar bar or cigar lounge has not expanded its size or changed its location since December 31, 2004
  • any tobacco retail establishment, or any area the tobacco retail establishment provides for the purposes of smoking;
  •  any tobacco business when the testing of a cigar or pipe tobacco by heating, burning or smoking a necessary and integral part of the process of is making, manufacturing, importing, or distributing cigars or pipe tobacco; 
  • private homes, private residences and private automobiles;
  • the area within the perimeter of: 
    • any casino as defined in section 6 of P.L.1977, c.110 (C.5:12-6) approved by the Casino Control Commission that contains at least 150 stand-alone slot machines, 10 table games, or some combination thereof approved by the commission, which machines and games are available to the public for wagering; and 
    • any casino simulcasting facility approved by the Casino Control Commission pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1992, c.19 (C.5:12-194) that contains a simulcast counter and dedicated seating for at least 50 simulcast patrons or a simulcast operation and at least 10 table games, which simulcast facilities and games are available to the public for wagering; 
  • research laboratories and other facilities that have been approved by the Department of Health to permit smoking for the purpose of medical research related to the health effects of smoking, in an indoor facility that is separately ventilated for the purpose of medical or scientific research that is conducted under physician supervision and has been approved by an Investigational Review Board (IRB), if the facility is used solely and exclusively for clinical research activities; 
  • a golf course;
  • an area of a municipal or county beach, not to exceed 15 percent of the total area of the beach, which is designated by the municipality or county by ordinance or resolution as a smoking area; and
  • any cigar bar or lounge previously registered with the local board of health pursuant to subsection a. of this section that has, in accordance with the requirements of this subsection, renewed that registration following a period of lapse. A cigar bar or cigar lounge registration which has lapsed may be renewed under this subsection if:
    1. no more than 10 years have elapsed since the date the registration lapsed;
    2. in the calendar year immediately preceding the lapse, the cigar bar or lounge generated 15% or more of its total annual gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors; and
    3. the cigar bar or lounge has not expanded its size or changed its location since December 31, 2004.
  • A registration renewed pursuant to this subsection shall remain in effect for one year and shall be renewable thereafter only if it meets the requirements for renewal as set forth in this subsection or subsection (a) of this section.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:3D-57: Definitions relative to smoking, use of electronic smoking devices in indoor public places, workplaces

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:3D-59: Exceptions

No person shall sell, give or furnish to a person under 21 years of age, any cigarettes made of tobacco.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:170-51.4: Sale, distribution, an electronic smoking device to persons under age 21; prohibited; civil penalties


Department of Labor and Workforce Development staff reported that minors are permitted to work in a retail establishment at the age of 14.

Retailers must post a legible sign at the point of display of tobacco products and at the point of sale. The sign must be at least 6 inches by 3 inches in bold letters at least ¼ inch high and will read as follows:

“A person who sells or offers to sell a tobacco product to a person under 21 years of age shall pay a penalty of up to $1,000 and may be subject to a license suspension or revocation. Proof of age may be required for purchase.”

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40A-4.1: Sign required; violations, penalties

New Jersey 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.

Tobacco samples are subject to the tobacco tax, as the term “sale “ is defined to mean any sale, transfer, exchange, barter, or gift, in any manner or by any means whatsoever.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-2


A tax license is not required to distribute tobacco products such as cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and moist snuff in New Jersey. 

New Jersey 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

A tax license is not required to distribute tobacco products such as cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and moist snuff in New Jersey. However, every distributor or wholesaler required to pay the tobacco products tax must obtain a Certificate of Authority from the Department of Treasury’s Division of Taxation by filing an Application for Registration (Form NJ-REG).

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-6: Filing of certificate of registration, issuance of a certificate of authority.


Every distributor or wholesaler required to pay the tobacco products tax must also file a Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form TPT-20) and all applicable schedules on or before the 20th day of each month, along with payment for taxes due.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-8: Contents of return.


Cigar Bars, Cigar Lounges, and Tobacco Retail Establishments may apply for exemptions from the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act.

  • Any cigar bar or cigar lounge that, in the calendar year ending December 31, 2004, generated 15% or more of its total annual gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors, not including any sales from vending machines, and is registered with the local board of health in the municipality in which the bar or lounge is located. 
    • The registration shall remain in effect for one year and will be renewable only if:
      • In the preceding calendar year, the cigar bar or lounge generated 15% or more if its total annual gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors, and
      • The cigar bar or cigar lounge has not expanded its size or changed its location since December 31, 2004.
    • A “cigar bar”is any bar, or area within a bar, designated specifically for the smoking of tobacco products, purchased on the premises or elsewhere; except that a cigar bar that is in an area within a bar shall be an area enclosed by solid walls or windows, a ceiling and a solid door and equipped with a ventilation system which is separately exhausted from the nonsmoking areas of the bar so that air from the smoking area is not recirculated to the nonsmoking areas and smoke is not back streamed into the nonsmoking areas.
    • A “cigar lounge” is any establishment, or area within an establishment, designated specifically for the smoking of tobacco products, purchased on the premises or elsewhere; except that a cigar lounge that is in an area within an establishment shall be an area enclosed by solid walls or windows, a ceiling and a solid door and equipped with a ventilation system which is separately exhausted from the nonsmoking areas of the establishment so that air from the smoking area is not recirculated to the nonsmoking areas and smoke is not back streamed into the nonsmoking areas.
    • Cigar Bars and Cigar Lounges must file an Application for Registration of Exempt Cigar Bar or Lounge (Form OC-53) with the Department of Health.
    • Cigar Bars and Cigar Lounges must file an Application for Renewal of Registration of Exempt Cigar Bar or Lounge (Form OC-54) annually.

Any tobacco retail establishment, or any area the tobacco retail establishment provides for the purposes of smoking

  • A “tobacco retail establishment” is an establishment in which at least 51% of retail business is the sale of tobacco products and accessories, and in which the sale of other products is merely incidental.
  • Tobacco Retail Establishments must submit a Notice of Claim of Exemption of Tobacco Retail Establishment (Form OC-51) with the Department of Health).

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:3D-57: Definitions relative to smoking, use of electronic smoking devices in indoor public places, workplaces

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:3D-59: Exceptions


Localities may require additional licensing requirements.

New Jersey AB 5385 (2019) states that a vapor business will be required to be licensed and keep records of sales. The Director of Taxation will set the rules for the application of licensure and is empowered to revoke licenses.

A seller may be liable for a penalty of up to $1000 each day that a seller sells container e-liquid without a license. In addition, container e-liquid will be subject to forfeiture if it is possessed for retail sales by a person that is not licensed. Under the bill, container e-liquid may only be sold by vapor businesses. This requirement ensures that container e-liquid is sold by businesses with expertise in proper use and consumption of e-liquid. The measure will take effect November 1, 2019.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
New Jersey Business Gateway Services: Forms Fees & InstructionsForms Fees and Instructions
Application for Registration (with instructions)Form NJ-REG
Department of the Treasury: Tobacco Products Tax FormsTobacco Products Tax Forms

Political Involvement

A “lobbyist” is any person, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor union or any other organization that employs, engages or otherwise uses the services of any governmental affairs agent to influence legislation, regulation or governmental processes.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 52:13C-20(d)

 “Influence legislation” means to make any attempt, whether successful or not, to secure or prevent the initiation of any legislation, or to secure or prevent the passage, defeat, amendment or modification thereof by the Legislature, or the approval, amendment or disapproval thereof by the Governor in accordance with his constitutional authority.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 52:13C-20(h)

 “Influence regulation” means to make any attempt, whether successful or not, to secure or prevent the proposal of any regulation or to secure or prevent the consideration, amendment, issuance, promulgation, adoption or rejection thereof by an officer or any authority, board, commission or other agency or instrumentality in or of a principal department of the Executive Branch of State Government empowered by law to issue, promulgate or adopt administrative rules and regulations.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 52:13C-20(p)

Influence governmental processes”,influencing governmental processes,” or “influence governmental process”means to make any attempt, whether successful or not, to assist a represented entity or group to engage in communication with, or to secure information from, an officer or staff member of the Executive Branch, or any authority, board, commission or other agency or instrumentality in or of a principal department of the Executive Branch of State Government, empowered by law to administer a governmental process or perform other functions that relate to such processes.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 52:13C-20(t)

Any person who, for the purpose of influencing governmental processes, is employed, retained, or engages himself as a governmental affairs agent must first register as an agent by filing a signed Notice of Representation (Form NR) with New Jersey Campaign Financing and Lobbying Disclosure Election Law Enforcement Commission.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 52:13C-21: Notice of representation; filing, contents, separate notices


Every governmental affairs agent must file with the Commission a signed Quarterly Report (Form Q-4) on or before the 10th day after each calendar quarter.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 52:13C-22: Quarterly reports; contents


Each governmental affairs agent or lobbyist must make and certify the correctness of a full Annual Report (Forms L1-L, L1-A, or L1-G) on or before February 15th of every year.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 52:13C-22.1: Annual reports


Forms must be submitted electronically through the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission website.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
New Jersey Campaign Financing and Lobbyist Disclosure Election Law Enforcement Commission: LobbyingLobbying
Electronic Filing for Lobbying Annual ReportsLobbying Annual Report E-Filing
Annual Lobbying Forms and InstructionsLobbying Forms and Instructions

Shipping Regulations

A person may engage in non-face-to-face sales of cigarettes to a person in New Jersey if the seller has fully complied with all of the requirements of the Jenkins Act, 15 U.S.C. s.375 et seq., has verified payment of, paid, or collected all applicable State taxes, and has, before mailing or shipping the cigarettes:

  • obtained from the purchaser reliable confirmation that the purchaser is at least 21 years old and a statement by the purchaser under penalty of perjury certifying the purchaser’s date of birth and address;
  • made good faith effort to verify the information contained in the certification provided by the purchaser against a commercially available database or has obtained a photocopy or other image of a government-issued identification bearing the purchaser’s image and stating the date of birth or age of the purchaser;
  • received payment for the sale from the prospective purchaser by a credit or debit card that has been issued in the purchaser’s name or by check; and
  • verified that a credit or debit card used for payment has been issued in the purchaser’s name, and the address to which the cigarettes are being shipped matches the credit or debit card company’s address for the cardholder.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40A-49:  Conditions for non-face-to-face sale of cigarettes


A tax license is not required to distribute tobacco products such as cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and moist snuff in New Jersey. However, every distributor or wholesaler required to pay the tobacco products tax must obtain a Certificate of Authority from the Department of Treasury’s Division of Taxation by filing an Application for Registration (Form NJ-REG).

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-6: Filing of certificate of registration, issuance of a certificate of authority

New Jersey does not have any specific age verification requirements for the shipping of tobacco products to consumers. Sellers must comply with general age verification requirements.

New Jersey imposes a tax on the sale, use, or distribution of tobacco products within the state. Every distributor or wholesaler will be liable to pay the tax when it has sold or otherwise disposed of the tobacco product to the retail dealer or consumer. The retail dealer or consumer will be given an invoice, receipt, or other statement or memorandum stating that the tax has been paid or will be paid by the distributor or wholesaler. If a distributor or wholesaler fails to pay the tax, then the tax will be payable by the retail dealer or consumer. There are no additional tax requirements for the shipment of tobacco products. Sellers must pay all applicable taxes.

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-3: Tax of 30 percent imposed on the wholesale sale, use, distribution of tobacco product

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-4: Payment of tax by distributor, wholesaler

N.J. Rev. Stat. § 54:40B-5: Liability for payment of tax


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.