The state is stepping up its efforts to get people to pay taxes on Cigarettes purchased online.
Some smokers get their nicotine online because it is tax-free.
"Possession of even one pack of untaxed unstamped Cigarettes is being in possession of contraband which is illegal."
It's punishable by jail time and fine up to $50,000.
So if you think that pack of Marlboros is tax free-think again. Once the smoke clears expect a bill from the department of treasury. Online vendors are requiRed to give them lists of sales.
"Those lists give us the names and addresses of folks who have made purchases and we analyze the list to make sure if the appropriate taxes were paid."
Even though one site even brags they won't report you, the state can subpoena the information.
Since 1998 each individual pack is marked to make sure the appropriate taxes are paid.
"It shows it's from Michigan and it was taxed."
Local vendors say online sites touting tax free tobacco is bad for business.
"People aren't coming here to be their Cigarettes and yet we're paying the taxes to get the Cigarettes to sell them." That tax is passed on to the consumer, so it's only fair they say that if one smoker pays, they all should.