No more buying tobacco online?

Case of paternalism gone awry, the bill passed the senate that bans the trafficking of tobacco. This includes ordering tobacco, which cannot be shipped anymore.

What’s the problem?

I read some of what you link, but it isn’t obvious why this is paternalism gone awry. It looks like they are prohibiting the kind of sales that are likely to serve young people, who tend to be impressionable and easily hooked by insidious products like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which is what this covers. As I read it, it does not cover ordering tobacco in general, nor the shipping of tobacco. Can you quote anything I missed that contradicts this?

We are talking about products that kill over 1000 Americans a day when used as directed, a product most of whose users report they want to stop using it but feel unable. Why is keeping the sales of this product convenient in situations where regulation is practically unenforceable a priority?

Because those arguments can be used for a host of other products, but are not.
I speak as an adult who did not start smoking until I was 31, and now the government tells me that what I choose to smoke…cloves…are somehow worse than menthol American cigarettes.
(Cloves are still available, for those who wonder; all that changed was the packaging, as ‘cigars’ were left out of the ‘omg it’s enticing the kids!’ equation, so…now they are sold as cigars. Same smokes, just different name. )

It’s all kinds of stupid.
I really don’t think this is about tobacco, as much as protecting American interests in it’s own tobacco sales.

“It’s for the children. If it will save one child’s life, isn’t it worth doing.”

The real reason


I wonder if the Indian Tribal groups will challange this in court? They make a big profit in selling cigarettes, especially via mail.

Well, this is a dam silly law IMHO. What business is it of the Government what we ship through the mail if it’s a legal product, other than danger to anyone handling the package? Obviously it’s practical to ban shipping explosives or corrosive substance. But this is entirely different. Oh, you shouldn’t buy it because it’s Bad For You. What next? Fatty meat? Candy? Or maybe that book the Government thinks would be Bad For You. Sorry to sound like a nutcase, but this is an example of Big Government interference that is really irritating.

The Native American groups who sell cigarettes on line have already been urging their customers to write to their legislators about it. Obviously that didn’t do much good.

Gah. It’s already illegal to ship a lot of addictive substances through the mail, although few really ever get caught. I didn’t hear anyone crying when you couldn’t send Xanax through the mail.

Face it. The “big bad government” has been telling you what to do all of your life. Instead of arguing via slippery slope fallacy, try actually offering real reasons why the idea is bad. Give a real reason why these American Indians should have the right to avoid the cigarette tax while the shop down the street can’t.

I still wonder if they will take their case to court and try to at least make the argument as a quasi-independent government they should be exempted.

I guess it’d be worth a shot.

If a comet struck the Capital Buildings while both houses are in session I would volunteer to pee on the ensuing fire in an attempt to put it out.

Competition, everything has a natural price point.

While local market can’t avoid charging their prices but they do have the right to apply pressure on politicians to repeal onerous taxes, if an unfair market condition exists. This really is no different from Amazon for tax purposes.


Because they are operating on their reservation – the last remains of the land that was theirs before it was invaded – and for better or worse the U.S. has said they are to be treated as a sovereign nation.

This is the same reasoning that lets them run a casino on their property.

I don’t know if Xanax can be sent through the mail, but don’t lots of folks buy prescription drugs that way?

And while cigarettes are commonly agreed to be harmful in sufficient quantity to the person smoking them, it’s not as if it’s something you can swallow a handful of and go into a coma.

That, among other things that is pissing me off, an 2200% increase in taxes for roll-your-own cigarettes? (Note the bill I posted about earlier)

“Roll-Your-Own Tobacco- Section 5701(g) of such Code is amended by striking ‘$1.0969 cents (95.67 cents on roll-your-own tobacco removed during 2000 or 2001)’ and inserting ‘$24.78’.”

I don’t smoke, but that makes me angry that it can be sneaked into a bill like that.

They brought upon themselves by trying to sneak through a rebranding of roll-your-own tobacco to pipe tobacco.

It’s my understanding that this current bill closes another loophole and ensures that taxes get paid. I’m a pipe smoker, and I order all of my tobacco online. There are many reputable sites such as smokingpipes dot com that are already abiding by all the laws on the books, and more importantly their ability to sell cigars and pipe tobacco will not be impacted by this bill.

All right, I’ll amend my comment. We still tax things that come in from other countries. Why should they be any different?

And, yes, people get their prescriptions mailed to them all the time. That’s the point. We’re not going to be policing this any better, so it’s really not going to hurt anyone.

You’ll have to tell me if these quasi-separate countries allow them the ability to vote, and thus giving them the ability to pressure taxes repealed. If so, it’s the same as the local guy.

I’m not going to worry much either way, as I think addictive products throw off the market balance and thus need to regulated in some way.

Mainly cause online smokes will stop coming from indian reservations and start coming from russia and other offshore suppliers and they are not going to be labeling them as cigarettes and coming in non descript packages.


It will also actually INCREASE smuggling and black market activities, too.

As far as “we’re not going to be policing this any better,” I am sure that there will be vigilant review of anything shipping from a reservation on-line store. Sure, these entities also sell other non-tobacco products, but it would be naive to think that the USPS is not going to refuse shipments unless they are proven to actually contain non-tobacco products.

IMHO it’s also discriminatory against the Indians.

Someone also said, “It looks like they are prohibiting the kind of sales that are likely to serve young people…” No, not really. Most children don’t have checking accounts. If they do, their parents can and should be looking at those from time to time. The online sales are payable only via checks in the mail or an e-check. The major credit cards stopped handling these sales a while back, which is even sillier, as even fewer children have credit cards, and these are very easily monitored.

I pay by credit card on all my tobacco pipe sites.

I don’t doubt you, but I never saw an on-line cigarette site that took them. ISTR that at some time back the major credit card companies made a decision that they would not process payments for on-line cigs.