September 13, 2008 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, 9/10/2008 passed the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT) (379-12) to give law enforcement new tools to crack down on smugglers of tobacco and curb illicit tobacco sales over the Internet. The bill makes it a felony for selling tobacco in violation of any state tax law. The legislation will also effectively end Internet tobacco smuggling by stopping shipments of cigarettes through the U.S. Postal Service. FedEx, UPS, and DHL have already agreed not to mail tobacco.
By some estimates, New York state loses $1 billion from tobacco smuggling, said Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) the sponsor of the PACT Act. According to a recent Government Office of Accountability (GAO) report, Hezbollah profited $1.5 million from the sale of illegal tobacco from 1996-2000.
The bill included the provisions from Congressman John McHughs's (R-NY) "Do Not Mail Tobacco Bill." We must get the United States Postal Service (USPS) out of the tobacco delivery business.. and Protect Our Children - Make it illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver any form of tobacco product...
PACT now goes to the Senate for consideration.
Click here for details on this legislation..
References: House Passes Bill to Crack Down on Black Market Tobacco - PACT stops shipments of cigarettes through U.S. Postal Service, CSP Daily News, 9/12/2008 and McHugh “Do Not Mail Tobacco” Provisions Included in Legislation that Passes House - Provisions Would Stop Minors from Getting Cigarettes via U.S. Mail, The McHugh Report, 9/11/2008.