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Online Purchase of E-Cigarettes Against the Law in Arizona?

Date Posted: August 9, 2012

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A new law has been enacted in Arizona which prohibits the sale of tobacco products online. More specifically, residents of the state must purchase any tobacco products “face-to-face” with the seller; meaning phone sales are also illegal. Bill SB 1280 was signed into law by the Arizona governor in May of this year and put into effect one week ago, on August 2nd. At one point, the language of previous legislation was redefined to include electronic cigarettes in all measures pertaining to tobacco sales and use. Fortunately for the e-cig community, further edits to the proposed bill dropped electronic cigarettes from the list of prohibited online sales.

While there are a handful of states whose laws prevent the online purchase of tobacco products (including electronic cigarettes), Arizona’s implementation of a similar law has raised a few eyebrows. This is because Arizona is one of very few places where someone can buy a firearm online without undergoing a background check. Additionally, the seller is not required to keep a record of the sale.

In an effort to investigate these legal loopholes, New York City conducted a study wherein they attempted to purchase guns from private sellers in Arizona. Of the 125 sellers approached, 62% agreed to sell a firearm to an individual who admitted that they would not be able to pass a background check.

These statistics really hit home when you take into consideration the fact that James Holmes, the suspect in the Batman Rises shooting spree, allegedly purchased a stash of ammunition from an online seller.

It seems that common sense has taken a backseat in Arizona’s effort to make a statement regarding the hot button issue of tobacco use. Sure, cigarettes are dangerous and bad for your health…but, many would argue, so is getting shot.

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