U.S - PACT legislation passed by House..

May 22, 2009 - H.R. 1676, the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (the PACT Act) of 2009, was passed 397-11 by the House of Representatives on Thursday, 5/21/2009.

This legislation is extremely important, it will effectively end Internet and telephone tobacco smuggling by stopping shipments of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through the U.S. Postal Service. FedEx, UPS, and DHL have already agreed not to mail tobacco.

Chief sponsor Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., said that as tobacco taxes have increased, "We have unwittingly created a large and growing black market for smuggled tobacco products." Weiner cited a Government Accountability Office report that organizations including Hezbollah made money through the tobacco black market.

The bill is especially aimed at Internet sales. Sellers on the Internet and others shipping to remote locations would have to verify the purchaser's age and identity through accessible databases.

Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products could no longer be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service except in limited cases. Private delivery companies already have agreed not to ship tobacco products while the Postal Service continues to deliver products purchased over the Internet.

Misdemeanors under current law would be made felonies, and it would be a federal offense for any seller failing to pay state tax laws. The legislation would empower each state to enforce federal law against out-of-state sellers sending delivery sales into the state. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would gain authority to inspect distributors of cigarettes, and anyone refusing the inspection would be penalized.


The Senate has not yet considered this measure.

Reference: House votes to crack down on tobacco black market, Associated Press, 5/2/2009.

Related news brief: U.S. - PACT Legislation to be considered by House this month..; We must get the United States Postal Service (USPS) out of the tobacco delivery business..; PACT Legislation now in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee..; U.S. House Passes Bill to Prevent Tobacco Delivery By Mail..; 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...



January 6, 2010 at 6:28 PM

I find this to be insanity. My mother got hit with a 10k tax bill because she was buying her cigs online supposedly tax free. Now she switched to the e cigarette because they are safer, cheaper, and no taxes... Now the FDA is releasing all sorts of propaganda against the product! Probably trying to get back their tax revenues. Most likely in the pockets of big tobacco and big pharma as well!