Indiana Senate OKs Internet, Direct Mail Cigarette Bill

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The Indiana Senate approved a bill yesterday to regulate cigarette sales over the Internet and through direct mail, according to news reports.


The bill would require merchants who sell cigarettes over the Internet or through direct mail to verify that Indiana customers are at least 18 years old. They would have to get written statements of the buyer's address and age and verify the information.


They could do that by checking against government or private databases, including those used for driver's licenses or voter registrations. Buyers also could send in photocopies of identification.


The bill also requires merchants to either pay state sales taxes on the cigarettes or provide statements to both the customer and the Indiana Department of Revenue that state the customer's tax liability. The bill now goes to Gov. Frank O'Bannon.


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