The golden age of the Internet has brought us the ability to purchase almost anything we want online, including tobacco products. However, shopping for cigarettes online may not bring big discounts, and some of them are really expensive.
In many instances, those cheaper discount prices seen in digital stores may not be as good as they initially seem.
While perfectly legal, there are a slew of issues that come along with tobacco purchases, primarily cigarettes, made online.
Legal restrictions require a person to be 18 years of age or older to purchase tobacco products, so law enforcement watches online cigarette outlets to ensure compliance.
Why is it that the prices are the same regardless of where you are in the United States? The taxes are not included in the price, that’s why. The customer is still responsible for the taxes on the purchase of all tobacco products online, including state and federal taxes. Online retailers are required to give up the names of their customers to the government so they can go through and collect their due, which in a state like New York, could cost you big. With over $4 in state taxes alone per pack, a single carton of cigarettes would cost someone living in New York more than $40 in taxes alone.
Most impose a shipping fee per carton and require the ordering of multiple cartons, driving up the cost.
New legislation is aiming to stop the online sale and distribution of tobacco products. The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act was passed by Barack Obama in March 2010.
With all these little loopholes, most people should avoid online retailers if they are trying to keep the cost per pack down to a reasonable level.