Online cigarette sales and global tobacco regulation

Smoking has been considered a social norm for centuries, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy habit to break. For those who are trying to quit, cigarettes can be quite addictive. In recent years, online cigarette sales have become a popular way for people to get their hands on cigarettes. And as the tobacco industry becomes more and more regulated, this trend has only become more popular. But how do online cigarettes sales impact global tobacco regulation? In this blog post, we will explore this question in detail and answer some of the most common questions about online cigarette sales.

Background information on online cigarette sales

Background information on online cigarette sales

Online cigarette sales continue to grow in popularity, with many people choosing to purchase cigarettes through the internet rather than from a traditional retailer. While this trend may be good for smokers who want to avoid harmful smoke exposure, it poses a number of legal and regulatory challenges for governments around the world.

In general, online cigarette sales are legal in most countries. However, some jurisdictions have passed laws prohibiting or restricting online cigarette sales, citing concerns about public health and safety. Global tobacco regulation has placed restrictions on the advertising and promotion of cigarettes, which has led some manufacturers to start selling their products through online platforms. This raises questions about whether these companies are complying with global tobacco regulations.

Some other legal issues that arise with online cigarette sales involve taxation and regulation of e-cigarettes. Many countries tax cigarettes at a higher rate than they do electronic cigarettes, which creates an unfair advantage for traditional retailers over online sellers. Some companies have taken steps to comply with local tax laws by making their electronic cigarettes look and feel like traditional smoke, but others have not been so compliant and face legal consequences. Additionally, some countries regulate the use of nicotine in e-cigarettes as though they were tobacco cigarettes, which could lead to different regulatory outcomes for companies depending on how nicotine is used in their products.


Online cigarette sales continue to grow in popularity, despite regulatory efforts to curtail the product. According to industry research company Euromonitor International, the global online cigarette market reached $7.9 billion in 2016, up from $2.8 billion in 2010. Since the products are not subject to government regulation, there is a significant disparity in pricing and quality between online and brick-and-mortar cigarettes.

Some governments have taken measures to curb online cigarette sales, while others have opted for a hands-off approach. In November 2017, Australia joined Uruguay as the only country to completely ban online and offline tobacco sales of all products. Canada has also taken steps toward regulating electronic cigarettes as health products but has not yet reached a final decision on the matter.

Some experts believe that more aggressive regulation of electronic cigarettes would be effective in reducing smoking rates, while others argue that any form of government intervention is premature given the lack of scientific evidence about the long-term safety of these products.

The global tobacco treaties

The global tobacco treaties are agreements between the countries of the world that regulate the production, trade, and consumption of tobacco products. The first treaty was signed in 1907 and regulated the production, trade, and consumption of cigarettes. In 1965, the World Health Organization was created to help with global public health issues, and tobacco became one of its main priorities.

The WHO began work on a treaty regulating the production, trade, and consumption of tobacco products. The original version of this treaty was passed in 1971, but it was not ratified by all countries until April 13, 1998. The treaty is also known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, or FCTC for short. The treaty covers 74 countries and sets out guidelines for reducing smoking rates and preventing young people from starting to smoke.

The FCTC is a living document, and new amendments are made every two years. The most recent amendment was passed in May 2016 and updated the treaty to include e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. Countries that have signed the FCTC are required to enforce its provisions within their own borders. If a country does not comply with any of its provisions, then it can be penalized by WHO sanctions.


In today’s world, it is virtually impossible to avoid the topic to order cigarettes online. Companies like Amazon are constantly battling state governments in order to sell their products online without having to face tobacco regulation in each respective state. Tobacco companies have been spending millions of dollars lobbying for legislation that will make it easier for them to continue making billions of dollars off of an addictive product that kills more than 400,000 people a year. As we see more and more states legalize or decriminalize cannabis, will tobacco companies follow suit and start selling products online? Only time will tell!