Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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Attorney General Files Judgment Against Internet Tobacco Seller

December 15, 2003

Attorney General Hardy Myers today filed a stipulated judgment against www.dirtcheapcig.com, Inc., a Fenton, Missouri Internet tobacco seller that was sued in April for allegedly selling cigarettes on the Internet to a 14-year-old Oregon minor. The lawsuit was one of three filed as part of an undercover sting.

Under the judgment, the company admits no liability and agrees to comply with the new Sales and Delivery Restrictions Law in Oregon, which becomes effective January 1, 2004. The company also paid Justice $15,000 for its consumer protection and education revolving fund.

"We will not waver in our stand against the sale of tobacco products to our children," Myers said. "Armed with a new law that makes it very clear to tobacco retailers that it is illegal to make a delivery sale of tobacco to minors, the state will continue to dutifully monitor sales on the Internet."

Attorney General Myers challenged Oregon parents to join him in protecting their children's health by learning about the new law on tobacco delivery sales and watching for violations by monitoring their children's activities on the Internet and over the telephone. As of January 1, 2004, tobacco product sellers must comply with the Sales and Delivery Restrictions Law (HB2368, sections 73-82) as follows:

  • Businesses selling cigarettes to Oregonians must obtain a distributor's license from the State of Oregon and sell only Oregon stamped products.
  • Businesses selling cigarettes and tobacco products may not make a delivery sale to a person who is under the minimum legal purchasing age of 18.
  • Cigarette and tobacco sellers accepting a purchase order for a delivery sale must first obtain written certification of the buyer's legal age and address. The seller must then verify the information through a database.
  • The buyers must be warned that it is illegal to sign another person's name to the certificate and that it is illegal to buy tobacco under the age of 18.
  • Internet cigarette and tobacco sales can only be charged to a credit or debit card issued under the same name as the purchaser.
  • The seller must use a shipping service that requires an adult's signature upon delivery of the product. Adults under 27 years of age must provide valid, government-issued photo identification.

Consumers wanting more information on consumer protection laws in Oregon may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us with a link to the tobacco section and HB2368.

Contact:

Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) jan.margosian@doj.state.or.us |
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