Each person engaging in the business of selling tobacco products in Rhode Island, including any distributor or dealer, must secure a license from the Division of Taxation before engaging in that business. A separate application and license is required for each place of business operated by a distributor or dealer. Distributors must obtain a Tobacco Products Distributor’s License by filing a Tobacco Products Distributor’s License Application (Form TOB-APP) and a $100 fee. Dealers must obtain a Cigarette Dealer’s License by filing an Application for Cigarette Dealer’s License (Form T-152) and a $25 fee.
Distributor’s Licenses are valid unless terminated or revoked. Dealer Licenses expire every year on June 30th and must be renewed on or before February 1st of each year by filing a Cigarette Dealer’s License Renewal Application (Form CDR-1).
On or before the 10th day of each month, distributors must file the Distributor Tobacco Products Tax Return (Form OTP-1), along with payment for taxes due. A dealer or consumer who acquires untaxed tobacco products must file a Dealer/Consumer Other Tobacco Products Return within 5 days of coming into possession of the products, along with payment for taxes due.
Smoking bars may allow both smoking and drinking within their establishments, subject to certain conditions:
“Smoking bar” means an establishment whose business is primarily devoted to the serving of tobacco products for consumption on the premises, in which the annual revenues generated by tobacco sales are greater than 50% of the total revenue for the establishment and the serving of food or alcohol is only incidental to the consumption of such tobacco products. Effective 7/1/2015, all existing establishments and establishments that open thereafter must demonstrate quarterly, for a period of one year and annually thereafter, that the annual revenue generated from the serving of tobacco products is greater than fifty percent (50%) of the total revenue for the establishment, and the serving of food, alcohol or beverages is only incidental to the consumption of such tobacco products. Every owner of a smoking bar shall register no later than January 1 of each year with the division of taxation and shall provide, at a minimum, the owner’s name and address and the name and address of the smoking bar. Smoking bars shall only allow consumption of food and beverages sold by the establishment on the premises, and the establishment shall have public access only from the street. Any smoking bar is required to provide a proper ventilation system that will prevent the migration of smoke into the street.
Smoking bars must submit a yearly affidavit to the Division of Taxation attesting to compliance with the above requirements.
Any retail establishment that includes a pharmacy shall be prohibited from selling, giving or offering any tobacco in the form of cigarettes, bidi cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, flavored cigars known as “blunts”, unflavored “blunts”, flavored and unflavored blunt wraps, cigarette rolling papers of any size or composition, cigarillos, and tiparillos, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, or snuff.