by Alex Stuckey
The Republic | azcentral.com
Face-to-face interaction is now a must when purchasing most tobacco products in Arizona.
A law that went into effect this week bans the sale of tobacco products — except for pipe tobacco and cigars — via the Internet and any other method of sale that is not a face-to-face transaction.
Pipe tobacco and cigars are exempt because they do no require a stamp to provide proof that the retailer or distributor is in compliance with the state’s luxury-tax laws, although they are subject to the tax, according to the law.
The state Attorney General’s Office hopes the law will curtail the purchasing ability of children.
“Online sales of tobacco products are a major problem because no safeguards exist to ensure that children can’t buy them,” Attorney General Tom Horne said in a news release. “State law needs this critical update to reflect the growing amount of Internet sales of tobacco products and the danger this presents to children.”
Individuals who violate the law can be charged with a Class 6 felony and are also subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000.