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Illegal cigarette shipments seized by USPS

April 11, 2023


(The Center Square) — Connecticut and other states have seized shipments of illegal cigarettes from China and other countries under a settlement with the U.S. Postal Service to resolve claims it wasn’t doing enough to crack down on tobacco smuggling.

A new report by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said between January and March the Postal Service seized 3,000 packages containing a total of 10,000 cartons of cigarettes shipped from overseas in violation of federal laws. Most of the illegal shipments were mailed from China, Israel and Russia, the AG’s office said.

Tong said the data shows that the provisions of a settlement are working, “resulting in the detection and destruction of thousands of smuggled cigarettes.”

“We took action to force USPS to do its job to stop the flow of foreign contraband cigarettes into Connecticut and the United States,” Tong said in a statement. “Contraband cigarettes cost states hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost tax revenue and hinder smoking cessation efforts.”

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