U.S. Federal Issues

Internet Tobaco Sales: Reports and Other Resources

Reports and Studies

Federal Laws Relating to Internet Tobacco Product Sales

State Laws Restricting Internet Tobacco Product Sales

  • Maine legislation (LD 1236),passed and signed into law, with a comprehensive system for restricting internet tobacco product sales in order to block sales to kids and to collect state tobacco excise taxes, including provisions making the it illegal for delivery services to knowingly deliver tobacco products to persons in the state for internet or mail-order sellers not licensed by the state or that are on state non-compliance lists. The law is at 22 MRSA Sec. 1555-C & 1555-D. The law was challenged by some delivery services, and some portions of the law have been struck down by a Maine federal district court ruling. as being preempted by federal law relating to common carriers. While the court found that the state law, as written, was not preempted, it found that the law as applied was preempted by federal law because it affected the "rates, routes or service" of common carriers operating in the state. The Maine Attorney General has appealed this ruling to a higher court, seeking a ruling that none of the Maine law is preempted by federal law.

  • Illinois law (Public Act 093-0960) requiring all Internet or mail-order sellers of cigarettes to Illinois smokers to register with the state as cigarette distributors (thereby authorized to buy state cigarette tax stamps and apply them to cigarettes destined for sale in the state) and forbidding common carriers from delivering any cigarettes to individuals for anyone who is not a licensed distributor and forbidding common carriers from delivering any cigarettes to individuals unless the carrier first checks government photo ID to confirm that the recipient is the purchaser and is 18 years of age or older, and also gets a signed statement from the purchaser/recipient confirming that the purchaser/recipient is 18 or over, understands that signing another person’s name is illegal, understands that sales of cigarettes to persons under 18 is illegal, and that purchases by persons under the age of 18 are illegal under state law.

  • California legislation, which has passed and been signed into law, restricting internet and mail order to kids, with age verification online and signature requirements (AB 1830 Assemblyman Frommer). For the actual new law, see CA Business & Professions Code Section 22963.

  • California legislation, passed and signed into law, that requires internet sellers to pay CA taxes on cigarettes delivered into state or mark packages notifying recipients that taxes are owed (SB 1766 Sen. Ortiz). For the actual new law, see CA Revenue and Taxation Code Section 30101.7 and CA Code of Civil Procedure Section 1021.10

  • California legislation, passed into law, changing the tax stamp requirements in the state to require laser stamping with encrypted information (SB1701 Sen. Peace). For the actual new law, see CA Revenue and Taxation Code Section 30162.

  • Nevada law forbidding internet sales to youths under age 18 in the state and requiring adult signature at delivery of all tobacco products to customers in state (NRS 202 Sec. 24935).

  • Rhode Island law calling for unannounced state compliance checks re illegal internet and mail-order tobacco product sales to kids in the state (General Laws 11-9-13.6).

  • Rhode Island law restricting internet and mail order sales to kids, with signature at delivery requirements.

  • Virginia law to restrict internet and other delivery sales of cigarettes and to address problem of counterfeit cigarettes and counterfeit tax stamps (appears based on Philip Morris model state internet legislation).