Buying cigarettes on the internet

Buying cigarettes on the internet

Is it legal?
They have a bunch of web site out there now with cartons of brand name cigarettes for less that half what they cost here in Mass. The web site say it’s legal to ship them, etc.
Can you get in trouble for buying them?

in general yes it’s legal. the states have no authority to collect taxes from business opperating outside the state.

That’s good to know.
My friend started telling me the “they get after the people who buy cigarettes online” story…
Thanks kanicbird!

It’s legal for them to sell online. It’s probably not legal for you to buy & import cigarettes into your state without paying the appropriate state tobacco taxes.

For example, here in Minnesota we have several reservations that sell cigarettes cheaply, without paying state taxes on them. (Also will sell to minors, etc., but that’s a different issue.) But the customer, if not living on the reservation, is supposed to pay the state tobacco taxes on these cigarettes. Occasionally the state will set up checkpoints on the road off the reservation to catch people buying cigarettes and importing them into the state without paying the taxes.

I suppose it would be technically feasable for a state to locate residents who are buying tobacco products online, and bill them for the appropriate tobacco taxes. The question would be if it’s worthwhile for the state to do this. If online tobacco sales eventually cut into local (taxed) sales enough, we will probably see a state or group of states try to set up something to catch these tax cheats.

ummm, it makes sense… Thanks t-bonham@scc.net

Damn… that’s not fair. I got to quit this nasty habit…!

IIRC, there was recently a big stink in New York about this, the result being that buying cigarettes overseas to avoid taxes was not allowed anymore. My memory is a little hazy, but I think the article I read said that the sales were fine in other states. Correct me, please, if I’m wrong.

I ordered 6 cartons of Parliament Lights ($29/carton is the cheapest I can get them here) for ~$17.50 per carton including shipping from Russia. They were indistinguishable from the American Parliaments. Also the packs had neat Cyrillic writing and the hard packs had rounded edges instead of the nasty points American packs have. The site had similar deals on all the major brands. Highly recommended.

Yeah , but what actually happened was that the State of New York and some other states got a court order , requiring the out of state vendors to add and remit the appropriate state taxes.

The end result was that the out of state vendors just advertised that they would not ship to New York.

Got a link ?

Declan

What about in the UK?

I’ve just returned from Tunisia where a sleeve of 200 was around £15. In the UK it’s well more than twice that for the same sleeve. I was limited, by UK customs laws, to 1 sleeve to bring back duty free. So what can I get over the Internet?

Oh, and FYI: if you’re looking for the cheapest cigarettes possible, try loose tobacco, which isn’t taxed like preprocessed cigarettes. You can get a can (about a carton’s worth) of American Spirit tobacco for about $12 at your local tobacconist. Buy premade cigarette tubes with filters for $1.50 a carton online. Then buy a $10-20 injector to push the tobacco into the tube. I just got my first one today and found it to be very easy. I came out with a perfect cigarette on my first try.

Excluding the cost of the injector (which you can use over and over) that’s $13.50 per carton of American Sprit (which, when sold by the pack, cost even more than Marlboro, Camel, et al.).

Some loose tobacco merchants even have imitator blends of major brands.

On preview:

Declan: Thanks for the correction/clarification.

I’m not sure how the mods would feel about me posting a link to a commercial site such as this here, but let’s just say that a Google search for “all cheap discount cigarettes” might be worth your while. Hell, it might even be the first result. :wink: