Send smokes again to the troops starting Aug. 27
Sending care packages to service members serving overseas? Later this month it'll once again be legal to send them cigarettes and other tobacco products.
A law meant to ban tobacco smuggling and to prevent children from ordering tobacco through the mail went into effect June 29. The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009, introduced by Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), permits people to send tobacco products for noncommercial purposes if both the shipper and receiver are legal adults and the package includes delivery confirmation.
The new law prohibited the friends and families of troops deployed overseas from sending care packages through first class mail. The U.S. Postal Service initially said customers could only use Express Mail to ship tobacco products in order to comply with the law. But military families protested because Express Mail packages cannot be sent overseas.
Starting Aug. 27, military care packages with tobacco can be sent using Priority Mail, which does ship to overseas military addresses, according to USPS spokesman Greg Frey.
"We hope that with this modification we’re able to serve the needs of Americans serving overseas," Frey said.
Kohl and other lawmakers had promised a quick solution to their oversight. In a statement Thursday, Kohl said “I’m pleased that the Postal Service responded so quickly to the concerns of our military families and found a way to honor the original intent of the bill: to keep cigarettes out of the hands of children and prevent tobacco smugglers from profiting on the black market."
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• Oil spill shows difficulty the Coast Guard faces as it balances traditional tasks with post-9/11 missions: It acknowledged 11 years ago in a little-noticed disclosure that its regulations had "not kept pace with the changing offshore technology or the safety problems it creates."
• Pentagon push to phase out top brass causing much consternation: By almost any measure, the military is more top-heavy an institution than it has been for decades.
• Win wars? Today’s generals must also politick and do P.R.: Generals and other top officers are now expected to be city managers, cultural ambassadors, public relations whizzes and politicians as they deal with multiple missions and constituencies.
• Arlington Cemetery to get special tech support: Twenty-nine companies have now volunteered the time and manpower it will take to fix major flaws in the cemetery's operations.
• FAA computers still vulnerable to cyberattack: The agency's computer systems remain vulnerable to cyber attacks despite improvements at a number of key radar facilities.
• More receiving top secret clearance from FBI for terrorism cases: Clearances granted to members of the FBI's network of regional terrorism task forces jumped to 878 in 2009, up from 125 in 2007, signaling intensified attention to domestic terror threats.
• Weather slows investigation of Stevens plane crash in Alaska: The four survivors, all from the Washington area, remained hospitalized Thursday in Anchorage's Providence Hospital.
• BP agrees to pay $50M for Texas refinery penalties: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Thursday it is still working to collect another $30 million from BP for other penalties.
• State Department finds funding for building repairs lagging: Funding for building new embassies has increased an average 15 percent per year between 1999 and 2009. But maintenance funding has increased less than 5 percent annually on average during the same period.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS:
• Board of Trade relocates to make way for Veterans Affairs: With a Friday moving deadline, the business advocacy group is heading out of its 24,000 square feet location as the VA makes fixes.
| August 13, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener, Military
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