Cigarette Tax Laws and Rules

This section covers how to ensure cigarettes are legal, what’s illegal, and the laws and rules about cigarettes.

Making sure your cigarettes are legal

We understand it can be challenging to keep up with Idaho cigarette regulations, and we want to help ensure your cigarettes are legal.

You can check a directory the Attorney General’s Office (AG) keeps of all cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products that comply with Idaho’s Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) Act and MSA Complementary Acts. This directory is called the Idaho Directory of Compliant Tobacco Product Manufacturers and Brand Families (Directory). If a product isn’t in the Directory, it’s illegal.

View the Directory on the AG’s website.

You can also receive notice when the AG makes changes to the Directory. The AG provides 10 days’ notice before removing brands from the list.

Receive notice of Directory changes by doing one of these:

  • Call the AG’s Consumer Protection Division at (208) 334-2424.
  • Email and request notice. Include your street address if you want notifications mailed to you.

Illegal products

Cigarettes not listed in the AG’s Directory are illegal. The State of Idaho can seize illegal products. If you unintentionally violate the law, we’ll work with you to resolve the issue. Often, you can voluntarily turn over illegal cigarettes to the Tax Commission.

Idaho classifies cigarettes as illegal for the following reasons:

  • The product is unlisted. If the product isn’t in the AG’s Directory, it’s illegal.
  • There’s no tax stamp. The bottom of each package must have a valid Idaho tax stamp showing the wholesaler paid the correct cigarette tax. Packages without a tax stamp are illegal. In general, if you have more than 10 packs of cigarettes that don’t have an Idaho tax stamp, the Tax Commission can seize the cigarettes or charge you a penalty. Some exceptions apply to cigarettes sold and delivered outside the state of Idaho, cigarettes sold and delivered to a military reservation, and if you’re an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe living on a reservation.
  • The cigarettes are counterfeit. Cigarettes that appear to be the product of a well-known manufacturer but are imitations are counterfeits. They’re illegal.

Tax collection, regulation, and enforcement

  • The Idaho State Tax Commission collects and enforces cigarette and tobacco taxes. 
  • The Idaho Attorney General’s Office ensures that tobacco manufacturers comply with Idaho’s MSA Act and MSA Complementary Act. 
  • The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare regulates retail sales of tobacco products. 
  • The State Fire Marshal manages Idaho’s Fire Standard Compliant (FSC) cigarette program. 
  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Attorney General, and many tribal governments also regulate tobacco in Idaho.