Can I Ship Cigarettes with USPS?

Learn about the very limited scenarios where USPS will allow you to ship cigarettes and smokeless tobacco
ship cigarettes with USPS
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Cigarettes fall into the list of items USPS restricts or prohibits, but you can ship them in certain situations. Before you go stuffing cartons into a box or envelope, read on to see if USPS will allow you to ship cigarettes.

You Can Only Ship Cigarettes with USPS in Limited Circumstances

Unfortunately, while USPS allows you to ship cigarettes, it’s not as easy as sending a couple of packs to your buddy in a different state. USPS only allows for the domestic shipment of cigarettes in extremely limited situations.

The circumstances in which USPS will allow you to send cigarettes and smokeless tobacco are as follows:

  • Intra-Alaskan and intra-Hawaiian shipments
  • Business/regulatory purposes
  • Small-quantity “gift” shipments to individuals
  • Individual returns of an unacceptable tobacco product to a manufacturer

Pro Tip: If your circumstances allow you to ship cigarettes, you’ll still need approval from a USPS worker at the Post Office. This is because the Postal Service employee needs to verify that your recipient is of legal age to receive the shipment (and that you’re of legal age to send it).

Shipping Cigarettes to an APO/FPO/DPO

When shipping to APO/FPO/DPO locations in foreign countries, USPS treats packages as domestic mail. So, you can still send your cigarettes with any USPS service, as long as you meet the strict circumstances we listed above.

With that said, shipments are still subject to every foreign country’s prohibitions and restrictions. To find out if a particular country allows for incoming cigarettes and smokeless tobacco shipments, check out the USPS Individual Country Listings.

Cigars are Totally Fair Game

Luckily, USPS isn’t as strict when it comes to sending cigars. In fact, there aren’t any restrictions here at all; cigars can be sent via any USPS service without any written permission required! You can also ship cigars to any state within the United States and its territories, but not internationally.

What About FedEx or UPS?

Interestingly, both FedEx and UPS prohibit cigarette and smokeless tobacco shipments altogether. UPS and FedEx are typically more lenient on certain items, since neither are a government agency like USPS is. For example, you can ship ammo with UPS, but not with USPS. However, both UPS and FedEx draw a strict line when it comes to cigarettes. So, if you want to ship them, you can only use USPS—just make sure you meet the rules and regulations!

Does Your Business Manufacture or Sell Cigarettes?

If you need to ship cigarettes for business purposes, then you’re in luck. You can do that with USPS, but you’ll need to go through a stringent approval process. This includes completing an application letter requesting to mail under the business/regulatory purposes exception, providing the applicable state and federal licenses, and more.

Check out the USPS website: 472 Mailability for more information on how to obtain permission from the Postal Service to send and receive cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

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  1. Lori Sanders

    Cigarettes are more expensive in California than any other state. My son in law in law will send me some a pack at a time but he is afraid it’s against USPS laws.

    • Lori Sanders

      He lives in Oregon.

  2. D.Perkins

    My brand of cigarettes is very Expensive almost the price of N.Y. And I’m trying to get some from ATL cheap as N.C. So my friend trying to send me a carton yesss but I can’t wait until my daughter moves back to N.C.. so I can get them mailed on the Regular

    • Carmen

      I live in NC. Ship to my mom and friend all the time. Need help?

      • aemilyjane

        Yes I’d love some advice I’m trying to mail my son a pack of smokes from Washington to North Carolina suggestions?

      • Angela


        I want to send 4 packages of cigarettes to Chicago.

      • Debi

        Can you tell me how you shipped cartons of cigarettes from NC

        • Lulu

          We’re you able to send cigarettes and how often

      • Belinda

        Want to have cigarettes shipped from Florida to pa. How do I do it and how much can you send?

      • Francesca McEwan

        Can I send cigarettes via usps from Florida to California

    • Christina Wetherby

      Even cheaper in WV like 5 bucks a pack for the good ones like marlboro or camel. $1.09 for chew. I just moved from WV to NY & holy moly !

  3. Brent

    I was just looking to get export A cigarettes in Phoenix Arizona and I can’t find any that’s incredible for the size of Phoenix

  4. Teresa

    Strangely I think laws are even different depending on the state. NC just recently passed a law stating that you must be 21 years of age instead of 18 and no smoking in any state building or medical facility including nursing homes. I can get Instacart to deliver alcohol like beers and wines but no cigarettes are allowed. Then I found the 7 eleven app that allows cigarette delivery purchases but does not allow any alcohol. The real reasons behind all these restrictions comes down to money. Taxes are extreme on cigarettes up the northern states more so than the southern states. A pack that is six dollars in NC could cost 15 in NY. I think they don’t want to see anyone profiting by illegally selling cigarettes which is understandable but it’s still all about the government control. My personal position is if any service being usps or a delivery service that can help with getting drunks off the road should be a good thing. Make it easier for the intoxicated person to receive these legal items so that there is no way for them to temp to illegally drive out to get these legal items. Sadly just a game of making that money.

    • P. Stokes

      I agree with what you have said. I also feel that if certain Governments feel it’s a danger for certain cigarettes to be sold to teenagers then they should make it harder to do so without making it invasive to adults who have already made their decisions on whether they want to have a cigarette every now and then. Myself, personally, I have always liked menthol cigarettes. And, I have always hated regular ones. To me regular cigarettes feel like they are sucking the oxygen out of my lungs. Menthols never did that, so if that is why they are wanting to ban them, all they are doing is taking our rights away from us. Which, if you haven’t noticed is something that will be easier and easier for them to do the more that we allow them to do it!!

  5. Roz Sanders

    This rule is unfair for nursing home residents whose family and friends may live too far away for in-person deliveries. Already limited by income allowances for personal expenses, such “gifts” ought to be allowed. So those with nearby relatives can enjoy their bad habit, but the ones already stressed out by this continued ienforced isolation have one less opportunity to relax and chill out with a Smoke. can’t

    • Cynthia Collins

      I agree. Oddly enough, this is the exact scenario that had me researching the topic

      • Charlita J. Montgomery

        Im looking for a certain packs of cigarettes may be carry ing on another state not in illinois

    • Rayna

      So I’m confused…??? If I live in Delaware & want to mail 3 packs of regular “Virginia Slims Lights” cigarettes to Virginia. I can’t.. ???
      Please elaborate…?
      Thank You in advance for sharing

      • Big jim

        If you mail a few packs odds are that it’s going to make it. It’s just technically against the rules. Just have the package sealed before you get to the post office and select no on the hazmat question.


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