Tobacco Tax

Tobacco tax applies on all tobacco products sold in B.C., including cigarettes, tobacco sticks, cigars, loose tobacco products (e.g. fine cut, pipe or chewing tobacco) or other products that contain tobacco in any form.

Tobacco tax is paid by the customer, but the amount of tax collectable for the tobacco must be secured. Wholesale dealers must secure the tax collectable for the tobacco by paying security for the tobacco to the province. The security is an amount equal to the tax due on the retail sale of the tobacco.

When a wholesale dealer sells tobacco products to a retail dealer, security paid for the tobacco is collected from the retail dealer to reimburse the wholesale dealer. The retail dealer is reimbursed by the tax collected from the customer.

Tobacco Tax Rates

Product Tax Rate
Cigarettes and
Tobacco Sticks
23.9 cents per cigarette or tobacco stick
$4.78 per pack of 20
$5.98 per pack of 25
$47.80 per carton of 200
Loose Tobacco 23.9 cents per gram
Cigars 90.5% of the taxable price or the retail price, to a maximum of $7 per cigar

Tax-Exempt Sales

In certain circumstances, tobacco can be sold tax exempt, such as:

  • sales to First Nations individuals and bands on First Nations land
  • duty-free shops

Only tobacco products that bear the federal government’s black stock mark may be sold tax exempt. The federal government’s black stock mark is a peach or clear tape or stamp placed on:

  • packages, cartons and cases of cigarettes
  • fine cut tobacco products

You must hold an Exempt Sale Retail Dealer (ESRD) permit to sell tax-exempt tobacco products.

ESRDs may only purchase black stock tobacco from a registered wholesale dealer. For details on selling tax-exempt tobacco products to qualifying customers, see the bulletin Sales to First Nations and the Tobacco Tax Exemption Program (TTA 001) (PDF).

Diplomatic or consular agents and certain diplomatic or consular staff in Canada may purchase tax-exempt tobacco. For details, see the bulletin Exemption for Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps (CTB 007) (PDF).