Investigations Division - Cigarette & Tobacco Products Inspection Program

The Cigarette and Tobacco Products Licensing Act of 2003, effective January 1, 2004, authorizes the Board of Equalization’s Investigation Division staff to inspect business locations and seize any untaxed tobacco products and cigarettes, including cigarettes without tax stamps, cigarettes affixed with counterfeit or other state stamps, or cigarettes to which cigarette tax stamps are affixed in violation of the specified prohibitions under the Master Settlement Agreement (Revenue & Taxation Code section 30165.1). "Unstamped" cigarette packs may include a pack of cigarettes that bears a tax stamp of another state, or cigarette pack, stamped or unstamped, that is marked "Not for sale in the United States." Untaxed tobacco includes tobacco products in inventory for which there are no valid purchase invoices that show excise taxes paid.

The table below reflects the results of current inspections conducted by the Investigations Division, and will be updated on a monthly basis. Prior year’s figures can be viewed using the year’s link below. Inspections conducted include retail, wholesale, and distributor business locations.

Year 2010 Number of Inspections Number of Cigarette Seizures Total Packs of Cigarettes Seized Number of Tobacco Product Seizures
Total Wholesale Cost of Tobacco Seized
January 892 6 617 18 $ 10,035  
February 956 17 2,964 33 137,787
March 1,150 17 2,171 42 36,923
April 970 9 2,812 30 28,559
May 928 42 18,826 25 20,450
June 1,026 32 4,775 20 27,790
July 949 27 3,546 26 19,579
August 844 20 3,062 26 39,370
September 776 25 55,065 28 6,601
October 835 13 1,574 19 9,096
November 725 12 2,573 20 9,353
December 834 19 34,422 24 10,226
Totals 10,885 239 132,407 311 $ 355,769

Prior Years: