Here's a copy of a letta I sent to Senator Kohl. And the crazy part is it bounced back to me cuz his "inbox is too full."
Hello Senator Kohl,
I'd like to address two points you brought up on the PACT Act.
1) You said the PACT Act will prevent terrorists from buying cigarettes online. And this can help cut down on cigarette smuggling, as well as create a decrease in cigarette black markets. Where these terrrorists would re-sell the packs in streets and areas where they (as well as the people who buy the cigs from the terrorists) can't get caught.
First of all, if any terrorist wanted to buy cigs and then re-sell the cigs illegally, they wouldn't necessarily have to buy their stock of cigs online. The terrorist can STEAL cartons of cigs offline instead. I notice this year, I read about more robberies/heists involving cigarette cartons than I did over the past 3 years combined. And if it becomes illegal to buy cigs online, that is NOT gonna stop terrorists from smuggling in cigs. They will just rob more places with cig cartons. Or they can even smuggle in cigs into the US by flying overseas to get cigs and then bring those cartons back into the US with the intent of re-selling the cigs illegally.
And as far as making it illegal to buy cigs online so we can put an end to black cig markets, believe me, this Act won't stop that either. Gangbangers across the US (not just "terrorists") will still get away with selling packs in the streets. And if they can't buy the cartons online, no problem. They'll just organize and pull off their OWN version of cig heists offline. It's bad enough the federal tobacco tax hike back in April played a role in increasing crimes related with cigarettes in general.
2) You said the PACT Act will prevent kids from getting their hands on cigarettes. Well, based on the urban area I live in, kids can still get their hands on cigs by buying packs from cig dealers in the streets, they could ask older friends/siblings (or even their parents) to buy cigs for them, and they can even ask strangers for cigs if they see the man or woman smoking. And believe me, I have seen adults give single cigs to teens before. I know some clerks in my area who actually sell packs to teens without checking their ID's. It's common to see particularly teens smoking in my community and at least within my area.
And BTW, most online smoke shops require new customers to submit a govt-issued ID as proof the new customer is at least 18. Otherwise, if the ID ain't valid, the shop will not process orders for the new customer. Some smoke shops even require new customers to be at least 21. So if the drivers license/state ID shows the kid is under 21, the kid will still be out of luck in buying cigs online.
You could say "What if the kid has a FAKE ID they submit to the shop for verification?" Well, even if the kid has the type of fake ID that looks very real, he/she better have a real voided check with his/her name and address (and signature) on it. And the name/address on the check better match with the name/address on the kid's supposedly-real ID. Because new customers gotta submit proof of a checking account under their own name. I'm sure if the check address is different from their ID's address, the online smoke shop will still refuse to process the new customers' orders.
I didn't mention how the PACT Act will make the unemployment rate go up even more. Since online smoke shops are businesses that will be forced to close down if this Act officially passes. But I guess as long as terrorists and kids can't get their hands on cigs, you don't care about the workers at these smoke shops losing their jobs, am I right?