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Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

taxes

E-Cigarette Retailer Permit Frequently Asked Questions


How were e-cigarette retailers regulated and licensed before the 87th Legislature passed Senate Bill 248?

There were no licensing requirements prior to Senate Bill 248. E-cigarette retailers are held to the same standard as cigarette and tobacco retailers and are regulated under the Health and Safety Code, and must follow its regulations such as provisions related to sales of e-cigarettes sold to minors, required employee training, and adherence to warning sign requirements.

Did SB 248 create a new tax?

No, SB 248 created a new permit and applicable fees. E-cigarettes and vapor products are currently not subject to tobacco product tax and remain subject to sales and use tax.

What does an e-cigarette retailer need to do now that Senate Bill 248 is in effect?

A retailer must have an active e-cigarette retailer permit as of Jan. 1, 2022, per SB 248. Permit fees are reduced if an applicant holds an active cigarette or tobacco permit when the e-cigarette retailer permit application is submitted or renewed. A retailer must keep their permit on public display at the place of business for which the permit was issued.

Must e-cigarettes and/or vaping products be sold from a commercial location?

Yes. Health and Safety Code Section 147.0001, E-Cigarette Retailer Permits: Definitions defines a place of business as one of the following:

  • a commercial business location where e-cigarette products are sold;
  • a commercial business location where e-cigarette products are kept for sale or consumption or otherwise stored; or
  • a vehicle from which e-cigarette products are sold.
What if I only sell the devices – do I need an e-cigarette retailer permit?

Yes, the definition of an e-cigarette in Health and Safety Code 161.081, Public Health Provisions: Definitions includes a component, part or accessory for the device, regardless of whether the component, part or accessory is sold separately from the device.

If selling through a marketplace that allows sales of e-cigarette devices and vape products, who is required to have an e-cigarette retailer permit – the marketplace provider, the marketplace seller… or both?

Both a marketplace provider who allows the sales of e-cigarettes through their marketplace and the marketplace seller whose e-cigarette products are sold through a marketplace are required to obtain an e-cigarette retailer permit.

Who can sell e-cigarettes through a vending machine?

The owner of a place of business can use a vending machine if the owner of the business obtains an e-cigarette retailer permit for the location and is the seller of the e-cigarettes. E-cigarette vending machines must be placed in locations that are only accessible by adults 21 years of age or older.

A vending machine owner is not allowed to sell e-cigarettes in someone else’s place of business.

I purchased an existing business. Can I use its e-cigarette retailer permit(s)?

No, e-cigarette retailer permits are non-transferrable and non-assignable.

Did SB 248 change the duration for violations?

Yes. With Senate Bill 248, the 87th Texas Legislature added Health and Safety Code Section 161.0901, Public Health Provisions: Disciplinary Action Against Cigarette, E-Cigarette, and Tobacco Product Retailers extends the look back violation period from 12 months to 24 months and increases the amount of the fine for each violation that occurs (first –$1,000; second – $2,000; third – $3,000).

How can I apply for an e-cigarette retailer permit?
How long does it take to get an e-cigarette retailer permit?

If your business location is actively permitted for sales and use taxes, please allow 4-6 weeks from the Comptroller’s receipt of your properly completed application and the required fee.

If your business location is not actively permitted for sales and use tax, you must apply prior to applying for an e-cigarette retailer permit.