These days, tobacco is under constant attack in the US, with new laws restricting the use of tobacco in one form or another nearly every day! It seems, in the effort to “sanitize” our country of anything deemed “unhealthy” (a decision made by someone who knows what’s best for you…), the government has slowly drifted to a state in which some areas of the country tax nearly double the price of a cigar (i.e. legalized theft)! And while the majority of the aggressive taxes are directed towards cigarettes and cheaper, machine-made cigars (which is also wrong), there is a noticeable push by the liberal and progressive movement to end the sale of premium cigars as we know it; introduced through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on June 22, 2009.

Regulations being proposed against premium cigars include (but are not limited to) the banning of walk-in humidors and requiring manufacturers to submit their blends for “testing” before they can be sold, i.e. ending small batch and limited edition cigars, as well as thousands of cigar shops across the country.

Luckily, there are groups such as the Cigar Rights of America, dedicated to protecting the rights of cigar growers, manufacturers, retailers, and consumers of premium cigars (we strongly advise any fan of cigars and/or freedom become a CRA member).

But at the end of the day, you still need a place to buy premium cigars – we’ve made it easy to find which states will give you the best “bang for you buck”, and which ones you might want to consider “abandoning ship”…

2015 US taxes on premium cigars

US Cigar Tax
Tax rate:
Under 5%
Under 10%
Under 20%
Under 30%
Under 70%
70 – 100%
Click a state for further details
Numbers are based on the example of purchasing a $10 (MSRP) premium cigar

While our interactive map above is intended to give a quick and easy reference to each state’s tax rate on premium cigars, the table below will show a more detailed breakdown of a real-world scenario—e.g. what the cost may look like when buying a $10 premium cigar.

*Tax rates on our map have been averaged out to show the final percentage after tax caps have been taken into account. The rates below are the state’s technical percentages.

United States Tax Rate Example Sheet ($10 MSRP)
StateTax RateTax CapEst. Selling Price
Arkansas68%50¢/Cigar Tax Cap$10.50
Connecticut50%50¢/Cigar Tax Cap$10.50
Iowa50%50¢/Cigar Tax Cap$10.50
Michigan32%50¢/Cigar Tax Cap$10.50
Minnesota95%$3.50/Cigar Tax Cap$13.50
New Hampshire0%$10.00
New Jersey30%$13.00
New Mexico25%$12.50
New York28.5%*See map for details$12.85
North Carolina12.8%$11.28
North Dakota28%$12.80
Oregon65%50¢/Cigar Tax Cap$10.50
Rhode Island80%50¢/Cigar Tax Cap$10.50
South Carolina5%$10.50
South Dakota35%$13.50
Vermont92%$4/Cigar Tax Cap$14.00
Washington95%65¢/Cigar Tax Cap$10.65
West Virginia7%$10.70
Wisconsin71%50¢/Cigar Tax Cap$10.50
Washington D.C.67%$16.70
  • Brandon Oveson

    Ugh. Guess where I live. Yep. Utah. I’ll tell ya, this is why I buy online so often. I risk quality just so I can afford cigars at all. 🙁 Someone stop the madness.

    • Sumatra Samurai

      That’s rough bro, how many B&M’s would you say are in Utah? I’d buy online too – cheaper and it’s the only way to show them their losing out on money!

      • Brandon Oveson

        There are smoke shops a-plenty. But there are only a handful of cigar shops that know how to store display and sell them with any repute. Honestly my go-to B&B is a Tinder Box location. Love the guys in there and I’m always happy to pay them even if it is all going into tax maker pockets. CRA needs to make some noise here.

        • Sumatra Samurai

          Yep, that’s about how it is here in CO, Smoker Friendly has some of the best selections…

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