Pennsylvania

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
Miscellaneous Tax
(717) 783-9354

Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation
(717) 787-5280

PCA Contact

David Jessup david@premiumcigars.org

Legislative Information

Taxation

no text here

The tax on cigarettes is $2.60 per pack of 20 cigarettes. Philadelphia charges a $2.00 local excise tax in addition to the state excise. 

Little cigars weighing under four pounds per thousand are taxed at $0.13 cents per cigar.

E-cigarettes are taxed at 40% of the purchase price charged to the retailer.

Roll-your-own and smokeless tobacco are taxed at $0.55 per ounce on all fractional parts of an ounce.

Pennsylvania 2019 Tax Compendium

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue: Other Tobacco Products Tax FormsOTP Tax Forms
Act 84 2016 Tax Reform CodeAct 84 2016 Tax Reform Code

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

Smoking” means the carrying by a person of a lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted smoking devices.

35 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 637.2

Tobacco product” means a cigarette, cigar, pipe tobacco, or other smoking tobacco product or smokeless tobacco in any form, manufactured for the purpose of consumption by a purchaser, and any cigarette paper or product used for smoking tobacco.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6305(k)

Smokeless tobacco” is any product containing finely cut, ground, powdered, blended, or leaf tobacco made primarily for individual consumption that is intended to be placed in the oral or nasal cavity and not intended to be smoked, including chewing tobacco, dipping tobacco, and snuff.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6305(k)

Pipe tobacco”is any product containing tobacco made primarily for individual consumption that is intended to be smoked using tobacco paraphernalia.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6305(k)

Restrictions

Pennsylvania law prohibits smoking in public places, defined as enclosed areas that serve as workplaces, commercial establishments, or areas where the public is invited or permitted, including facilities that provide education, food, or healthcare-related services; vehicles used for mass transportation, such as trains, subways, buses, chartered buses, planes, taxicabs, and limousines; train stations, subway stations, and bus stations; public facilities and private homes that provide child-care or adult day-care services; and sports or recreational facilities, theaters, or performance establishments.

35 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 637.3

35 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 637.2


Tobacco use or possession by pupils or any other person is prohibited: in school buildings; on buses, vans, or other vehicles owned by, leased by, or under the control of a school district; and on property owned by, leased by or under the control of a school district. However, the board of school directors may designate certain areas where tobacco use by persons other than pupils is permitted, as long as these areas are at least 50 feet from school buildings, stadiums, or bleachers.

35 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1223.5


No political subdivision has the authority to adopt or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or resolution that conflicts with state law, and state law supersedes any ordinance, resolutions, or regulation adopted by a political subdivision concerning smoking in a public place.

35 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 637.11

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

  • A private home, private residence or private vehicle unless the private home, private residence or private vehicle is being used at the time for the provision of child-care services, adult day-care services or services related to the care of children and youth in the state or county custody
  • Designated guest rooms in a lodging establishment or a full-service truck stop
  • A workplace of a manufacturer, importer or wholesaler of tobacco products; a manufacturer of tobacco-related products, including lighters; a tobacco leaf dealer or processor; or a tobacco storage facility
  • Long-term care facilities and separate enclosed rooms in residential adult care facilities, community mental health care facilities, and drug and alcohol facilities
  • A private club  that has taken and recorded a vote of its officers, except where the club is open to the public through a general advertisement for a club-sponsored event or leased or used for a private event that is not club-sponsored
  • A place where a fundraiser is conducted by a nonprofit and charitable organization one time per year if all of the following apply:
    • The place is separate from other public areas during the event
    • Food and beverages are available to attendees
    • Individuals under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend
    • Cigars are sold, auctioned, or given as gifts, and cigars are a feature of the event
  • An exhibition hall, conference room, catering hall, or similar facility used exclusively for an event to which the public is invited for the primary purpose of promoting or sampling tobacco products if all of the following apply:
    • Service of food and drink is incidental
    • The sponsor or organizer gives notice in all advertisements and other promotional materials that smoking will not be restricted
    • At least 75% of all products displayed or distributed at the event are tobacco or tobacco-related products
    • Notice that smoking will not be restricted is prominently posted at the entrance to the facility
    • *A single retailer, manufacturer, or distributor of tobacco may not conduct more than 6 days of a promotional event in any calendar year
  • A tobacco shop, defined as a business establishment whose sales of tobacco and tobacco-related products, including cigars, pipe tobacco, and smoking accessories, comprise at least 50% of the gross annual sales
  • A cigar bar, defined as either of the following:
    • An establishment which, on the effective date of this section, operates pursuant to an eating place retail dispenser’s or restaurant liquor license under the Liquor Code, and is physically connected by a door, passageway, or other opening and directly adjacent to a tobacco shop
    • An establishment which, at any time, operates pursuant to an eating place retail dispenser’s license, malt or brewed beverage distributor’s license, or restaurant liquor license under the Liquor Code, and has total annual sales of tobacco products, including tobacco, accessories, or cigar storage lockers or humidors of at least 15% of the combined gross sales of the establishment
  • A drinking establishment, defined as either of the following:
    • An establishment which:
      • operates pursuant to an eating place retail dispenser’s license, restaurant liquor license, or retail dispenser’s license under the Liquor Code;
      • has total annual sales of food sold for on-premises consumption of less than or equal to 20% of the combined gross sales of the establishment; and
      • does not permit individuals under 18 years of age
    • An enclosed area within an establishment which:
      • operates pursuant to an eating place retail dispenser’s license, restaurant liquor license or retail dispenser’s license under the Liquor Code;
      • is a physically connected or directly adjacent enclosed area which is separate from the eating area, has a separate air system and has a separate outside entrance;
      • has total annual sales of food sold for on-premises consumption of less than or equal to 20% of the combined gross sales within the permitted smoking area of the establishment; and
      • does not permit individuals under 18 years of age
  • Designated areas of the gaming floor at a licensed facility
  • A designated outdoor smoking area within the confines of sports or recreational facility, theater, or performance establishment

In order to be exempt from the general ban on smoking, a drinking establishment, cigar bar, or tobacco shop must submit an Application for Exception to Permit Smoking

35 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 637.3(c)(1)

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot purchase or attempt to purchase a tobacco product or knowingly falsely represent himself to be at least 18 years of age for the purpose of purchasing or receiving a tobacco product. This prohibition does not apply if (1) the minor is at least 14 years of age; (2) the minor is an employee, volunteer, or an intern with a retailer; (3) the minor is acting within the scope of assigned duties as part of a retailer-organized self-compliance check; and (4) the minor does not use or consume a tobacco product.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6305


Similarly, it is illegal to sell or furnish by purchase, gift, or other means a tobacco product to a minor.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6305


State provisions relating to the sale of tobacco preempt and supersede any local ordinance or rule concerning the same subject matter, except for local regulations enacted prior to January 1, 2002.

53 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 301

In Pennsylvania, it is illegal for a person to furnish tobacco products to a minor.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6305


State provisions relating to the sale of tobacco preempt and supersede any local ordinance or rule concerning the same subject matter, except for local regulations enacted prior to January 1, 2002.

53 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 301

Operating Your Business

Staff reported that businesses selling tobacco products other than cigarettes and little cigars are only required to obtain either a Pennsylvania Sales Tax License (for retailers) or a Wholesaler’s Certificate (for wholesalers) by filing the Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration Form (Form PA-100) electronically.

Sales Tax Licenses are renewed every 5 years. Thirty days prior to the expiration, a new license will automatically be issued providing the account has no delinquencies or liabilities.

Localities may require additional business licenses.

Pennsylvania allows alcohol to be served in the same establishment as smoking under certain conditions. The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • A “tobacco shop”,defined as a business establishment whose sales of tobacco and tobacco-related products, including cigars, pipe tobacco, and smoking accessories, comprise at least 50% of the gross annual sales
  •  A “cigar bar”, defined as either of the following:
    • An establishment which, on the effective date of this section, operates pursuant to an eating place retail dispenser’s or restaurant liquor license under the Liquor Code, and is physically connected by a door, passageway, or other opening and directly adjacent to a tobacco shop
    • An establishment which, at any time, operates pursuant to an eating place retail dispenser’s license, malt or brewed beverage distributor’s license, or restaurant liquor license under the Liquor Code, and has total annual sales of tobacco products, including tobacco, accessories, or cigar storage lockers or humidors of at least 15% of the combined gross sales of the establishment
  • A drinking establishment, defined as either of the following:
    • An establishment which:
      • operates pursuant to an eating place retail dispenser’s license, restaurant liquor license, or retail dispenser’s license under the Liquor Code;
      • has total annual sales of food sold for on-premises consumption of less than or equal to 20% of the combined gross sales of the establishment; and
      • does not permit individuals under 18 years of age
    • An enclosed area within an establishment which:
      • operates pursuant to an eating place retail dispenser’s license, restaurant liquor license or retail dispenser’s license under the Liquor Code;
      • is a physically connected or directly adjacent enclosed area which is separate from the eating area, has a separate air system and has a separate outside entrance;
      • has total annual sales of food sold for on-premises consumption of less than or equal to 20% of the combined gross sales within the permitted smoking area of the establishment; and
      • does not permit individuals under 18 years of age

In order to be exempt from the general ban on smoking, a drinking establishment, cigar bar, or tobacco shop must submit an Application for Exception to Permit Smoking

35 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 637.3(c)(1)

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration Form Registration Form
Application for Exemption to Permit SmokingApplication for Exemption to Permit Smoking

Political Involvement

A “lobbyist” is any individual, association, corporation, partnership, business trust or other entity that engages in lobbying on behalf of a principal for economic consideration. The term includes an attorney at law while engaged in lobbying.

65 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 13A03

A “lobbying firm”is an entity that engages in lobbying for economic consideration on behalf of a principal other than the entity itself.

65 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 13A03

A “principal” is an individual, association, corporation, partnership, business trust or other entity: (1) on whose behalf a lobbying firm or lobbyist engages in lobbying; or (2) that engages in lobbying on the principal’s own behalf.

65 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 13A03

Lobbying” means an effort to influence legislative action or administrative action in Pennsylvania. The term includes: (1) direct or indirect communication; (2) office expenses; and (3) providing any gift, hospitality, transportation or lodging to a State official or employee for the purpose of advancing the interest of the lobbyist or principal.

65 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 13A03

Every lobbyist, lobbying firm, or principal must register with the Pennsylvania Department of State within 10 days of acting in any capacity as a lobbyist, lobbying firm, or principal.

65 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 13A04(a)


To register, each lobbyist, lobbying firm, or principal must create an online Pennsylvania Department of State account, complete the appropriate registration form and attachments, and pay a $300 fee.

Registered principals are required to file quarterly expense reports no later than 30 days after the last day of each calendar quarter. If a lobbyist or lobbying firm reports all expenses to and through their respective principals, then the lobbyist or lobbying firm is not required to file quarterly expense reports. However, if a principal does not submit a quarterly expense report, or if a principal does not include all expenses of a lobbying firm or lobbyist in its report, then the lobbyist or lobbying firm is required to file a quarterly expense report for any expenses not included in the principal’s quarterly expense report.

65 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 13A05(a)

65 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 13A05(b)(6)


The following are the quarterly expense report due dates:

reporting perioddue date
January 1 — March 31April 30th
April 1 — June 30July 30th
July 1 — September 30October 30th
October 1 — December 31January 30th
Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Pennsylvania Department of State: Lobbying DisclosureLobbying Disclosure
65 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ch. 13A: Lobbying Disclosure65 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ch. 13A
Lobbyist, Lobbying Firm, and Principal Registration FormsRegistration Forms
Online RegistrationOnline Registration
Lobbying Disclosure Quarterly Expense Report Forms, Instructions, and DeadlinesExpense Report Forms, Instructions and Deadlines

Shipping Regulations

As a matter of state law, businesses selling tobacco products other than cigarettes and little cigars are only required to obtain either a Pennsylvania Sales Tax License (for retailers) or a Wholesaler’s Certificate (for wholesalers) by filing the Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration Form (Form PA-100) electronically. Additional information about licensing in Pennsylvania is available at the Operating Your Business link above.

Little cigars are legally distributed in Pennsylvania by businesses that have licenses issued by the Department of Revenue. Only licensed cigarette stamping agents (CSAs) or common carriers with authentic invoices may possess unstamped cigarettes or little cigars.

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

Any person shipping little cigars within or into Pennsylvania is required to a file form REV-1140, Little Cigars Shipping Report, with the Department of Revenue, detailing the type and weight of little cigars shipped. The report is to be filed with the Department within 14 days of shipment. If the shipper is not a manufacturer, then the shipper must get the information from the manufacturer; this requirement applies to retailers that purchase directly from manufacturers. Little cigars can only be shipped to licensed cigarette dealers in Pennsylvania.

In addition, on or before the 10th day of each calendar month, any person who transfers or ships smokeless tobacco in interstate commerce must file with the tobacco tax administrator of the state into which the shipment is made, a memorandum or a copy of the invoice covering each and every shipment of smokeless tobacco made during the previous calendar month into the state. PACT reporting forms, including the Tobacco Sales Report (REV-1164), are available on the Department of Revenue website.  


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.