The mission of the unit is to ensure that businesses that sell tobacco in Washington State are:
- Properly licensed
- Have paid the appropriate state taxes
- Keep tobacco out of the hands of those under 18 years old
Officers inspect cigarette and Other Tobacco Product (OTP) retailers, wholesalers and distributors, and investigate and halt illegal acquisition and shipments of cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products by persons and businesses not licensed to sell them.
The unit conducts retail/wholesale tobacco inspections leading to the identification of unpaid taxes on tobacco products.
The Tobacco Tax Unit also:
- Maintains state and federal partnerships
- Educates wholesalers, distributors and retailers on tobacco laws
- Works with Native American tribes