A law aimed at preventing smuggling had unintentionally banned families from sending tobacco to military members serving overseas. Spokesman Greg Frey said the postal service is planning to issue new instructions that could allow shipments to resume possibly as soon as Aug. 27.
The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009 quietly took effect June 29 and was created to prevent minors from ordering cigarettes through the mail. It allowed for small shipments of tobacco but required a way to verify the recipient was old enough — meaning the only way to ship the packages through the postal service was by Express Mail, which requires a signature.
However, Express Mail doesn’t deliver to most overseas military addresses.
“It’s a very delicate balancing act to remain in compliance with the law and serve the needs of our customers and in this particular case those brave men and women overseas,” Frey said.
The new instructions would allow tobacco shipments to military addresses through Priority Mail, which does ship to deployed troops, with delivery confirmation instead.
Source: AP News via Military Times.