On June 29, 2010, the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009 went into effect and due to this new law, sending cigarettes to our Military may land you in prison.
The Bill which was originally indented to stop minors from buying cigarettes online and to prohibit the illegal smuggling of tobacco products has inadvertently prohibited our troops from receiving tobacco products through the mail while they are overseas.
The new law requires that tobacco products only be shipped via the United States Postal Service Express Mail Service (which does not deliver to many overseas bases such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan) or a common carrier. The new Bill also requires a signature from the receiving party once it has been delivered and proof of age.
Since the USPS does not deliver to Iraq and Afghanistan and UPS and Fed Ex do not allow the shipment of consumer to consumer tobacco products, this means tobacco products can no longer be sent to our service members overseas.
The post office no longer accepts packages that have tobacco products in them. Additionally, if tobacco products are found while the package goes through the x-ray machine or through a physical search of the box, you could find yourself serving a 3-year prison sentence.
Many organizations are currently trying to work with the Postmaster General in order to find an alternative shipping method, but until that time comes; our troops will have to fend for themselves while overseas.
Hopefully, an exemption will be made for military address, but until then sending cigarettes to our Military may land you in prison.