Mail-order cigarette seller subject of lawsuit in N.J.

John O'Brien Oct. 10, 2008, 2:00pm


TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram has filed suit against a cigarette company that she says was not verifying buyers' age when it sold to them.

The suit, against Red Jacket Tobacco, says the company engaged in various other illegal business practices in its advertising and sale of mail-order cigarettes. Milgram's office is representing the Division of Taxation and the Division of Consumer Affairs.

She says Red Jacket sold cigarettes without a license, did not charge the state cigarette and sales taxes, failed to register with the Division of Taxation and falsely advertised.

"This action is about putting a halt to sales practices that seek to evade taxation and which flaunt our laws in any number of other ways," Milgram said.

"It's also about holding Red Jacket responsible for deceiving New Jersey consumers with false enticements for 'tax free' product, and for selling tobacco with no regard for whether the consumer is of legal age."

Milgram filed the complaint in the Chancery Division of Superior Court in Mercer County. It can be viewed here.

Milgram says the company's advertisements read, "TAX FREE CIGARETTES TO YOUR DOOR" and "IF WE DON'T HAVE IT, WE CAN ORDER IT." A state investigator purchased five cartons online, leading to the lawsuit. Milgram said the company made no attempt to verify the investigator's age.

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