New York City and the state of California are suing the U.S. Postal Service to stop tens of thousands of cigarette packages from being mailed from foreign countries to U.S. residents.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court blames the postal service for “cigarette tax evasion.”
It says “smugglers” take advantage of widely varying tax rates on cigarettes to rely on a postal delivery system that looks the other way.
It says mailed cigarettes cheat governments of millions of dollars in tax revenue, stall anti-smoking efforts and keep health care costs high.
The lawsuit seeks a court order to force the postal service to intercept and destroy cigarettes sent by mail.
A message seeking comment was sent to postal service representatives.