New York Nails Online Tobacco Retailers

I posted last week about efforts in Colorado to level the playing field as between online and traditional retailers. Here’s maybe the flip side of that coin. The New York Attorney General recently filed a lawsuit against 6 Web site operators who allegedly sell tobacco over the Internet, in violation of a New York law that prohibits online tobacco sales to state residents. New York is one of six states (Ohio is another) that have adopted such a law. The New York AG is concerned with two aspects. One, that there is no sales tax on the online sales, and two, minors can but stuff online pretty easily. It will be interesting to see if the Web site operators will challenge on constitutional grounds. No doubt lots of states will be watching pretty carefully.