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Obtaining a Tobacco Sales Permit

OBTAINING A TOBACCO SALES PERMIT

Before selling any tobacco and/or nicotine delivery products you must first obtain a Boston Public Health Commission Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products.


All fully completed forms and check or money order must be submitted 
IN PERSON to the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program located at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02118.

FIRST TIME APPLICANTS (new businesses or recent transfer of ownership):

1.     Review the Clean Air Works Workplace and Youth Access Regulations.

2.     Submit the  Permit Application.

3.     Sign and submit the Retail Establishment Owner/Operator Statement.

4.     Submit a copy of your Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) license(s):

1.     Retailers License for Sale of Cigarettes (Form CT-3)

2.     Retailers License for Sale of Cigars and Smoking Tobacco (Form CT-3T)

3.     Retailers License for Sale of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

5.     Submit proof of purchase i.e. Lease Agreements, Purchase and Sale Agreements, and Utility Bills. 

6.     Submit the $300 permit fee in the form of a check or money order payable to the Boston Public Health Commission.

7.     Once the application is received, the Tobacco Control staff will contact the retailer to schedule an inspection and orientation.  A retailer may not sell tobacco products until the inspection and orientation are completed. 

Mailing Address:

Boston Public Health Commission

1010 Massachusetts Avenue

Boston, MA 02118

Attn: Revenue Department/Tobacco


Permits are non-transferable. If a business moves to a different location or if a business is sold to a new owner, tobacco permits may not be transferable. 

Additional Items Required

Employee Agreement: All employees who sell tobacco and/or nicotine delivery products must have a signed Employee Agreement Form on file at the business location.

Signage: All retailers who hold a City of Boston Sales Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products are required to have the following signage posted in their establishment in a clear and conspicuous manner at all times.

Required Store Signage:

1.     No Smoking

2.     Report a Violation

3.     Nicotine Delivery 

4.     Quit Smoking

5.     Adult Only Tobacco Retail Store (only retailers identified as adult-only stores by the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program

6.     MA Law has additional store signage requirements. Visit www.mass.gov/newtobaccolaw

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RENEWING A TOBACCO SALES PERMIT 

 Adult-Only Tobacco Retail Store (only retailers identified as adult-only stores by the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program)

All permits expire annually on December 31st. Retailers must submit renewals by December 15th. Selling tobacco products without a current permit can result in a fine of up to $5,000 a day and permit suspension. 

 To ensure permit renewal

  • All outstanding citations must be paid in full prior to permit renewal. Permit renewal applications will be returned to retailers who have outstanding citations without the non-refundable permit fee. 
  • Permit applications and renewal applications are granted at the discretion of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. Such applications may be denied upon previous violations of the Youth Access Regulation or other local or state regulations where applicable. 

To renew tobacco sales permit

 Option 1Online

You can now renew your permit online

1.     Retailer information may be updated. 

2.     The following documents must be uploaded

1.     Signed Owner Operator Statement

2.     Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) License(s)

3.     A small convenience fee will be charged in addition to the $300 annual permit fee.

Option 2: Mail

1.     Submit the  Permit Application.

2.     Sign and submit the Retail Establishment Owner/Operator Statement.

3.     Submit a copy of your Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) Retailers License(s) 

1.     Retailer License for Sale of Cigarettes (Form CT-3)

2.     Retailer License for Sale of Cigars and Smoking Tobacco (Form CT-3T

3.     Retailer License for Sale of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Devices

4.     Submit a $300 permit fee in the form of a check or money order payable to the Boston Public Health Commission. 

Mailing Address:

Boston Public Health Commission

1010 Massachusetts Avenue

Boston, MA 02118

Attn: Revenue Department/Tobacco


Option 3: Drop Off

1.     Submit the  Permit Application.

2.     Sign and submit the Retail Establishment Owner/Operator Statement.

3.     Submit a copy of your Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) Retailers License(s) 

1.     Retailer License for Sale of Cigarettes (Form CT-3)

2.     Retailer License for Sale of Cigars and Smoking Tobacco (Form CT-3T

3.     Retailer License for Sale of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Devices

4.     Submit a $300 permit fee in the form of a check or money order payable to the Boston Public Health Commission. 

Mailing Address:

Boston Public Health Commission

1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 2nd Floor

Boston, MA 02118

Attn: Revenue Department/Tobacco

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MASSACHUSETTS AND BOSTON FINES

Massachusetts (36 month tolling period):

The following violations will result in a state law penalty:

1.     Sales to Minors - Selling a tobacco or nicotine product to a person under the age of 21.

2.     Tobacco Flavor Product or Enhancer - Sale of flavored tobacco products or enhancers

3.     Signage - Failure to post required signage

4.     Sale of Single Cigarettes - Sale of an individual cigarette or any package that contains fewer than twenty (20) cigarettes

5.     No Permit -  Selling tobacco or nicotine delivery products without a valid Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Product 

6.     Sale of High Concentrated Vape - Failure to obtain documentation from the manufacturer confirming the nicotine content of nicotine delivery/vape products (must not contain more than 35 milligrams/milliliters)

7.     Advertising - Advertising restricted tobacco products

8.     Self-service - A display from which customers may select a tobacco or nicotine delivery product without assistance from an employee or a vending machine that does not have a lockout device

State Law Penalties or regulation (105 CMR 665.000):

  • 1st violation within 36 months: $1000 
  • 2nd violation within 36 months: $2000 and a tobacco permit suspension of up to 7 days
  • 3rd and subsequent violations within 36 months: $5000 and a tobacco permit suspension of up to 30 days

Boston (24 month tolling period):

The following violations will result in a Boston Youth Access Regulation Penalty:

1.     Blunt wrap - Sale of blunt wrap products

2.     Cigar minimum pricing - Failure to adhere to cigar pricing guidelines

3.     Sale of tobacco products in health care/educational institutions - Sale of a tobacco product at an educational institution, pharmacy, or other healthcare institution

4.     Adult-Only Retail Tobacco Store Failure to meet 100% Requirements - Adult-only retail tobacco store selling products other than tobacco, nicotine, or related paraphernalia

Youth Access Regulation Penalties:

  • 1st violation within 24 months: $200
  • 2nd violation within 24 months: $400 and a 7-day suspension of the Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products
  • 3rd violation within 24 months: $600 and a 30-day suspension of the Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products
  • 4th violation within 24 months: $800 and a 60-day suspension of the Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products
  • 5th and subsequent violation: Tobacco Control may permanently revoke a Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products. If a Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products is not revoked, a retailer may be subject to subsequent repeat fines and suspensions of the Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products, unless a higher fine is set forth in state law or regulation. 

​If you have any questions or need language translation assistance, please contact the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at tobaccocontrol@bphc.org or 617-534-4718​
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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org