Information for Tobacco and/or Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealers

License Lottery

By law, the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) conducted a review of Tobacco Retail Dealer and Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealer licenses in each Community District to determine if the number of current licenses has fallen below the Community District cap. DCWP determined that certain Community Districts have available licenses and accepted lottery applications from November 1, 2023 through 5:00 p.m. on November 30, 2023.

Selection Process:

  • At the close of the Lottery Application Period, DCWP will assign each accepted Lottery Application Form a randomized computer-generated “Priority Number.”
    • If the number of accepted Lottery Application Forms exceeds the number of available Tobacco Retail Dealer licenses for the Community District, DCWP will issue offers to apply for the license in the order of the assigned Priority Numbers.
  • Businesses randomly selected to apply for a Tobacco Retail Dealer license in a Community District will receive notification from DCWP by mail and email (if provided). Within 65 days of receiving that notice, an applicant must submit a complete Tobacco Retail Dealer license application and satisfy all requirements under New York City laws and rules.
  • If any of the following situations occur, your opportunity to submit a license application will be void:
    • You fail to submit a complete application within the allotted time.
    • There is currently an active Tobacco Retail Dealer license at the specific premises location.
    • You do not qualify for a license for any other reason.

Tobacco and E-cigarette Control Laws

As of July 1, 2020, tobacco and e-cigarette retail stores in New York City are only allowed to sell products with specific flavors.

  • Stores with an e-cigarette license may sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids/liquid nicotine that are tobacco-flavored or unflavored. This includes all disposable, refillable and tank-based vaping products.
  • Stores with a tobacco license may sell cigarettes with tobacco or menthol flavors. They may also sell other tobacco products that are unflavored or are tobacco-, menthol-, mint- or wintergreen-flavored.

Learn more including FAQs by visiting the NYC Department of Health at

Local Law 191 of 2017

As of April 14, 2018, it is illegal to sell non-tobacco shisha, herbal cigarettes, rolling papers, and other smoking-related paraphernalia to individuals under 21 years of age in New York City. Download Age Restriction Sign.

Inspection Checklists

Read Inspection Checklist: Electronic Cigarette Retail Dealers.

Read Inspection Checklist: Tobacco Retail Dealers.