Can You Buy Cigarettes with EBT? What You Need To Know

There is often confusion about what can be bought with EBT cash benefits, including whether cigarettes are allowed. EBT cash benefits can be used for groceries and household essentials, but not for cigarettes.

According to the Food and Nutrition Service, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), these benefits cannot be used for tobacco, vitamins, medicines, or supplements. It’s crucial for recipients to know what they can and cannot buy to avoid penalties. While rules can vary by state, purchasing cigarettes or other tobacco products with EBT cash benefits is generally not allowed.

Purchasing Cigarettes with EBT Cash

Federal law prohibits using EBT cash benefits to buy alcohol, tobacco, and other non-food items. However, states can set their own restrictions on EBT cash use.

State-Specific Regulations

Regulations on using EBT cash benefits vary by state. At least 25 states restrict or prohibit the use of EBT cards for purchasing tobacco products. These regulations can change, so check your state’s EBT program for current rules.

In some states, EBT cash can be used to buy tobacco products, including cigarettes. For example, Pennsylvania has passed a bill prohibiting the purchase of tobacco and related items with EBT cards.

Overall, it is important to remember that cigarettes are not an approved item for purchase with EBT cash benefits. While some alternative payment methods may be accepted by certain retailers, it is important to check with the retailer beforehand to ensure that the payment method is accepted for the purchase of cigarettes.

To learn more about the range of items you can purchase with an EBT card please refer to our comprehensive guide ‘What You Can Buy with EBT’. This guide offers valuable insights into the types of products eligible for EBT purchases.

Leave a Comment