President Obama Signs PACT Act Into Law..

April 1, 2010 - President Obama on Wednesday, March 31st signed legislation that bans the U.S. Postal Service from shipping tobacco. The signing successfully ending years of intense lobbying by supporters this important legislation. With the stroke of a pen, President Obama put into law this bill that will go a long way towards combating illegal, online cigarette sales that have robbed states of hundreds of millions of dollars and undermined state laws preventing our youth from gaining access to tobacco products. White House press secretary Robert L. Gibbs announced the signing in a brief statement that included no comment on the new law.

On March 11th the U.S. Senate unanimously passed S. 147 PACT bill proving that when it comes to protecting our children total bipartisan support can be expected.

The main goal for passage of the PACT Act: to Protect Our Children - Make it illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver any form of tobacco product.. FedEx, UPS and DSL — have bowed to state pressure and have refused to ship tobacco products. Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer pressured UPS and DHL Worldwide Express to stop delivering cigarettes to individuals anywhere in the United States in 2005. FedEx agreed to do the same a year later. (Ban tobacco from the mail, Star Bulletin, posted 3/17/2010)

"Enactment of this legislation is a milestone in the fight to keep kids from smoking and prevent tax evasion that costs taxpayers billions each year," said Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

The Act, which takes effect 90 days after the president's signature, will:
• Strengthen the Jenkins Act by making it a federal offense for any seller making a tobacco sale via telephone, the mail or the Internet to fail to comply with all state tax laws. State attorneys general can now seek injunctive relief and civil penalties against out-of-state sellers who distribute product to end users in their states.
• Require Internet and other remote sellers to verify the purchaser's age and identity through easily accessible databases and the person accepting delivery must verify their age.
• Prohibit cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products from being eligible for shipment via the United States Postal Service (USPS).

Effective immediately, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has the authority to inspect distributors of cigarettes and levy a penalty against those who refuse inspection.

The original congressional legislation was sponsored by Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y. now United States Secretary of the Army, entitled the "Do Not Mail Tobacco Bill" (H.R. 2932) would amend Title 39 of the United States Code, restricting the USPS from delivering certain tobacco products. (Protect Our Children - Make it illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver any form of tobacco product..)

References: President Obama Signs PACT Act Into Law, American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA), 4/1/2010; Coalition to Stop Contraband Tobacco Applauds President Obama for Signing the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009,Coalition to Stop Contraband Tobacco, 3/31/2010; President Signs PACT Act to Stem Illegal Tobacco Sales Over Internet, Convenience Store News, 4/1/2010.

Some PACT related news briefs:
U.S. House passed PACT Act again now awaits presidential signature and it's law..;
U.S. Senate - unanimously passes the PACT Act..;
Disappointment - U.S. legislators from New York State are delaying passage of PACT Act..;
NATO - urging retailers to call their U.S.Senators to get the PACT Act passed..;
U.S. let's get the PACT bill passed by congress and then signed into law..;
NY State - Seneca Indians - lobbying against the PACT act.;
U.S. - Senate Judiciary Committee Approves PACT ACT..;
U.S. - Senate Committee scheduled to vote on PACT..;
Web-Based Companies must stop selling flavored cigarettes..;
Internet, Flavors everywhere - snuff being marketed to kids as hip, cool and healthy..;
U.S. customs officials bar imports bearing the Philip Morris USA trademark..;
Let's Get It Passed - Prevent All Tobacco Trafficking Act of 2009..;
U.S - PACT legislation passed by House..;
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..
Protect Our Children - Make it illegal to use the U.S. Postal Service to deliver any form of tobacco product...
mailing, postal service, tobacco


  Mr. UnloadingZone

April 1, 2010 at 10:18 PM

PACT has nothing to do with "saving the children". If a parent is careless enough to give their child a credit card, don't they monitor the statements?

If their children are "borrowing" Mom and Dad's credit card, don't these people read their billing statement before they pay their credit card bill.

Sale of tobacco products to any minor in any State by any means is and has been a crime for quite some time.

Like most legislation, this is all about money.

New York State has been working for years to undermine the Seneca Nation. They envy their tobacco and casino money.

As Rep. Weiner also stated when introducing the PACT Act in the last Congress that New York was losing a billion dollars in 'revenue' do to internet/mailorder/reservation sales of tobacco products.

Like most in Washington, Weiner believes in the zero sum game: if X number of people are buying tobacco over the Internet, then the same number of people will now buy them 'legitimately' equally $X in revenue.

Perhaps if New York significantly lowered their obscene tobacco taxes, people would buy this legal product locally instead of driving 2+ hours to the reservation or waiting for the mail.

The USPS is running a massive deficit; wants to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, close post offices, and lay off thousands of people.

USPS also currently delivers a lot of revenue-generating tobacco products. Where are they going to get the money to plug this hole?

Of course the most hypocritical aspect of PACT and The Tobacco Act is that both explicitly and very visibly exclude cigars from all the new regulations.

I'm reminded of P. Salinger's autobiography where, the day prior to JFK instituting the Cuban Embargo, he instructed Salinger to go out and buy him 1000 Cuban Petit Uptman cigars.

PACT should be renamed to reflect its true purpose: To Get as Much Money from Americans as Possible and Discourage Smokers from Using Reduced Harm Tobacco Products.