Can I send tobacco through the USPS?

There are very few instances when tobacco can be mailed. For the most part, it falls under the USPS restricted mail category.

Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco can only be sent through the USPS in a few particular circumstances:

  • Hawaii/Alaska: the shipment is occurring entirely within Alaska or Hawaii.
  • Regulatory/Business Purposes: the shipment is going between verified tobacco dealers for business purposes, or between these dealers and federal or state agencies for regulatory purposes.
  • Certain Age-Verified Individuals: the shipments are infrequent, lightweight shipments between age-verified individuals
  • Consumer/Public Health Testing: cigarette shipments sent by verified and authorized manufacturers to adults that have been verified to be over the age of 21 and the shipment is being sent for regulatory purposes and shipments that have been sent to consumers by federal agencies for public health purposes.

If you are sending cigarettes or smokeless tobacco under any of these exceptions, then you must send the package/shipment through a face-to-face encounter with a postal service employee. They must also bear a label that is specific to the exception that it is being mailed under.

Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco shipments are completely prohibited in both inbound and outbound International Mail.

For more information, visit the Tobacco Restrictions page on


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