Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–2401. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) The term “cigar” means any roll for smoking, other than a cigarette, where both the roll and wrapper or cover of the roll are composed entirely of tobacco.

(1A) The term “cigarette” means:

(A) Any roll for smoking containing tobacco wrapped in paper or in any substance other than tobacco leaf;

(B) Any roll for smoking containing tobacco, wrapped in any substance, weighing 4 pounds per thousand or less, except those wrapped entirely in whole tobacco leaf that do not have a filter; or

(C) Any roll for smoking containing tobacco wrapped in any substance, however labeled or named, flavored or not, which because of its appearance, size, the type of tobacco used in the filler, or its packaging, pricing, marketing, or labeling, is likely to be offered to, purchased by, or consumed by consumers as a cigarette as described in this paragraph.

(2) The term “consumer” means any person who manufactures or possesses cigarettes or other tobacco products for his own consumption or for transfer, without consideration, to another consumer, but not for transfer to other persons or for transfer with consideration.

(3) The term “District” means the District of Columbia.

(3A) The term “importer” means “importer” as the term is defined in section 5702(l) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved October 22, 1986 (68A Stat. 707; 26 U.S.C. § 5702(l)) [now 26 U.S.C. § 5702(k)].

(3B) The term “manufacturer” means “manufacturer of tobacco products” as the term is defined in section 5702(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, approved October 22, 1986 (68A Stat. 707; 26 U.S.C. § 5702(d)).

(4) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia or his authorized representatives.

(5) The term “original package” means a sealed package into which cigarettes or other tobacco products are put up by the manufacturer for sale to consumers; provided, that if the package contains smaller-size packages that are also intended by the manufacturer for sale to consumers, only the smallest-size sealed package intended for sale to consumers shall be considered the original package.

(5A) The term “other tobacco product” means any product containing, made from, or derived from tobacco, other than a cigarette or premium cigar, that is intended or expected to be consumed. The term “other tobacco product” includes vapor products, as defined in paragraph (9A) of this section, but does not include any product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product, as a tobacco dependence product, or for other medical purposes, and that is being marketed and sold solely for such an approved purpose.

(5B) The term “package” means “package” as the term is defined in section 3(4) of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, approved July 27, 1965 (79 Stat. 282; 15 U.S.C. § 1332(4)).

(6) The term “person” means any individual, partnership, society, club, association, joint-stock company, corporation, estate, receiver, trustee, assignee, referee, and any person acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity, whether appointed by a court or otherwise; any combination of individuals or entities acting as a unit, or any officer or employee of a corporation or member or employee of a partnership, who as such officer, employee, or member is under a duty to perform the act in respect to which the violation occurs.

(7) The term “possession” includes actual or constructive possession, having legal title or an equitable interest which entitles a person to such possession, and the exercise of any right or power incident to such ownership or possession.

(7A) The term “premium cigar” means any cigar with a retail cost of $ 2.00 or more, or packaged units of cigars averaging $ 2.00 or more per packaged cigar at retail.

(8) The term “sell” or “sale” means any transaction where title or possession, or both, of cigarettes or other tobacco products is, or is to be, transferred in any manner or by any means whatsoever, whether with or without consideration. The word “sell” or “sale” includes offering for sale, keeping for sale, or displaying for sale.

(8A) Repealed.

(9) The term “stamp” means any fusion decal stamps, impressions made by metering devices, or other indicia authorized by the Mayor as evidence that the tax levied and imposed by this chapter has been paid.

(9A) The term “vapor product” means:

(A) Any non-lighting, noncombustible product that employs a mechanical heating element, battery, or electronic circuit, regardless of shape or size, that can be used to produce aerosol from nicotine in a solution; or

(B) Any vapor cartridge or other container of nicotine in a solution or other form that is intended to be used with or in an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, electronic pipe, or similar product or device.

(10) The term “vending machine” means any automated, self-service device that dispenses cigarettes or other tobacco product upon insertion of money, tokens, or any other form of payment.

(11) The term “wholesale price” means the price for which a licensed wholesaler sells other tobacco products. The wholesale price includes the applicable federal excise tax, freight charges, or packaging costs, regardless of whether they were included in the purchase price, but excludes any discount, trade allowance, rebate, or other reduction.


(May 27, 1949, 63 Stat. 136, ch. 146, title VI, § 602; Mar. 10, 1982, D.C. Law 4-71, § 2, 28 DCR 5243; May 2, 1991, D.C. Law 8-262, § 4(a), 37 DCR 8434; enacted, Apr. 9, 1997, D.C. Law 11-254, § 2, 44 DCR 1575; Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-225, § 2(b), 48 DCR 35; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-213, § 33(x), 49 DCR 8140; Mar. 3, 2010, D.C. Law 18-111, § 7241(i)(2), 57 DCR 181; July 23, 2010, D.C. Law 18-189, § 4(a), 57 DCR 3019; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-155, §§ 7012(e)(1) and (e)(2), 61 DCR 9990; Oct. 22, 2015, D.C. Law 21-36, § 7072(b), 62 DCR 10905.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 47-2401.

1973 Ed., § 47-2801.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-223: Section 301(a) of D.C. Law 20-223 provided (1) that § 101 of the act shall apply for the tax year in which its fiscal effect has been included in an approved budget and financial plan; (2) that the Chief Financial Officer shall certify the date of the inclusion of the fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, and provide notice to the Budget Director of the Council of the certification; and (3) that the Budget Director shall cause the notice of the certification to be published in the District of Columbia Register and that the date of publication of the notice of the certification shall not affect the applicability of § 101.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-2001.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-225 rewrote par. (1): and added pars. (3A), (3B), and (5A).

Prior to amendment, par. (1) read:

“(1) The term ‘cigarette’ means any roll of tobacco, or any substitute therefor, which is wrapped in paper or in any substance other than tobacco.”

D.C. Law 14-213, in par. (5A), validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 18-111 rewrote par. (1).

D.C. Law 18-189 redesignated former par. (1) as par. (1A); added pars. (1), (5A), and (8A); rewrote par. (5); and redesignated former par. (5A) as par. (5B). Prior to amendment, par. (5) read as follows: “(5) The term ‘original package’ means the individual package, box, parcel, or other container in which cigarettes are put up by the manufacturer. The term ‘original package’ also includes any wrapper immediately enclosing such package, box, parcel, or other container that is prescribed by the Mayor as part of the original package.”

Section 7022(e)(1) of D.C. Law 20-155 substituted “Tobacco” for “Cigarette” in the chapter heading.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-155 rewrote (1); added “or other tobacco products” in (2), (8), and (10); deleted “cigars” following “cigarettes” in (5); rewrote (5A); added (7A) and (11); and repealed (8A).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 21-36 added “unless the unit or residential property is a for-sale unit constructed pursuant to the Housing Production Trust Fund Act of 1988, effective March 16, 1989 (D.C. Law 7-202; D.C. Official Code Section 42-2801 et seq.), that remains affordable for 180 months or a longer period selected by the developer, in accordance with section 2218 of Title 14 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (14 DCMR Section 2218), then this chapter shall apply” in (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 7121(a) of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-187, August 26, 2009, 56 DCR 7374).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 7241(i)(2) of Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Second Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-207, October 15, 2009, 56 DCR 8234).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a), (b)(2), of Tobacco Excise Tax Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-214, October 21, 2009, 56 DCR 8496).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 7241(i)(2) of Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-260, January 4, 2010, 57 DCR 345).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of the chapter heading, see § 7022(e)(1) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7022(e)(2) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of the chapter heading, see § 7012(e)(1) of the Fiscal Year Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7012(e)(2) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of the chapter heading, see § 7012(e)(1) of the Fiscal Year Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7012(e)(2) of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884, 21 STAT 541).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 7042(b) of the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-127, July 27, 2015, 62 DCR 10201).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-223: Section 301(a) of D.C. Law 20-223 provided (1) that § 101 of the act shall apply for the tax year in which its fiscal effect has been included in an approved budget and financial plan; (2) that the Chief Financial Officer shall certify the date of the inclusion of the fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, and provide notice to the Budget Director of the Council of the certification; and (3) that the Budget Director shall cause the notice of the certification to be published in the District of Columbia Register and that the date of publication of the notice of the certification shall not affect the applicability of § 101.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-36: Section 7073 of D.C. Law 21-36 provided that § 7072 of the act shall apply for taxable periods beginning on or after October 1, 2015.