Can You Buy Tobacco Online?


I'm a smoker, and I'm not ashamed of it! I really enjoy smoking, both for its effects (I feel like I can concentrate better and relax better when I smoke — I know those seem like opposite things, but it's true!) and for the actual practice of smoking, which I really enjoy (I like the rituals of cigarette smoking and the way it feels to have a cigarette in my hand and take a drag). I'm happy with my decision — for the most part, anyway. The one area in which I'm not super happy with my smoking is its cost! I live in a city that taxes cigarettes at a really high rate, and my smoking habit is really cutting into my budget. I don't know many other smokers, but while I was chatting with a fellow smoker outside a restaurant the other day, he mentioned buying tobacco online. I see that there are places online that sell tobacco, but I'm a little uneasy: can you actually buy tobacco online? Is it legal? Are there regulations that make it sketchy to mail smokable substances, and can I get in trouble for circumventing my city's tobacco tax? Experts, I hope you can help!

Our city, state, and federal governments have put up plenty of hurdles for law-abiding smokers, so it's not hard to see why the idea of ordering tobacco online gave you pause for a moment. But the good news here is that the short answer is yes. Yes, you can buy tobacco online, and you can do so legally. What's more, there are good reasons for you to consider buying your tobacco online regularly and rolling your own cigarettes. It could save you quite a bit of money compared to buying cigarettes in the store!

To address your concerns specifically, you should know that buying tobacco online is not at all like buying some of those other smokable substances. While some smokable drugs are legal in some states but not others, tobacco is legal in all 50 states and is legal at the federal level, too, so there's no reason that folks can't sell it across state lines or mail it to buyers. Tobacco products cross state and even international borders regularly, which is how they end up in your local shops in the first place.

We should clarify here that we are talking about loose tobacco, though. Many states regulate the purchase of cigarettes much more strictly than they do loose tobacco. For instance, Pennsylvania residents are limited to one pack when they buy from out of state (online or otherwise), and they must pay the tax on that pack anyway, taking care of the paperwork themselves! Yikes. In other words, you can't just shop online to avoid taxes on cigarettes. But you can buy tobacco online conveniently, and — because many state taxes focus specifically on cigarettes rather than loose tobacco — you can save yourself a ton of money without breaking any laws at all.

And that's why you should consider buying tobacco online and rolling your own cigarettes (or using a different smoking method, like a pipe). Smoking can be an enjoyable habit, but there's no denying that it can be a pricey one, too, so consider your options and look for ways to save! Rolling your own cigarettes can save you as much as $400 per month.

Of course, not all online retailers are the same, and neither are all brands of tobacco. Shop around and try different brands of tobacco, and focus on retailers with good reputations when you choose to buy tobacco online. Keep an eye out for shipping costs, and steer clear of shifty shops that seem to be selling lots of cigarettes (remember, those are more regulated — shops claiming to be able to send you lots of cigarettes may be scamming you and, even if they're not, you could be breaking the law). Reliable retailers will be on the right side of the (very complicated) law, so that you can be, too!

In short, you can buy tobacco online. Buying loose tobacco and rolling your own cigarettes could help you trim your cigarette spending while still allowing you to enjoy your smoking. Why not give it a try?

Content Provided by Scholarship Media

UTA Radio on Facebook

Twitter Feed

UTA News