US cigarette law to start this month

To comply with legislation passed by the US Congress and signed into law by the President, cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products will be subject to new mailing regulations effective 29 June 2010. The law, Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act, Public Law No. 111-154, was signed into law on March 31.

With only a few limited exceptions, the Postal Service will no longer be allowed to accept or transport packages containing cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products. The general mailability ban will extend to cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco. The prohibition does not include cigars.

Shipments entirely within Alaska and Hawaii will continue, subject to certain labeling and acceptance requirements.

The law does permit infrequent lightweight shipments by age-verified adults to recipients who are at least the age of majority for purchase of tobacco. Shipments between businesses in the tobacco industry will also be permitted, as well as cigarettes sent to consumers age 21 and above for testing or public health purposes.

Most shipments will require photo identification and age verification consistent with the minimum age requirements in the locality of destination.

With the exception of shipments entirely within Alaska and Hawaii, shipments are permitted only via Express Mail and, with the exception of shipments from the United States to APO/FPO/DPO destinations, will be delivered using “hold for pickup” service at the destination Post Office.

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