B&W: Judge Strikes Ban on Web, Mail Cigarette Sales
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge has struck down a New York state ban on mail-order, Internet and telephone sales of cigarettes, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. said on Friday.
In a statement, the No. 3 U.S. cigarette maker, a unit of Britain's British American Tobacco Plc, said U.S. District Court Judge Loretta Preska ruled that the 10-month-old law violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The law would have made it a crime to ship or transport cigarettes sold by mail order, telephone or the Internet to consumers in New York state, Brown & Williamson said.
Louisville, Kentucky-based Brown & Williamson, which makes such cigarette brands as KOOL, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall, among others, said it had challenged the law last October.
Last year the company formed BWT Direct LLC to sell some of its less-widely distributed brands directly to adult consumers from a catalog by mail, fax, telephone and, in the future, the Internet, it said.