This guide will teach you how to find the best deals on duty free cigarettes and how to avoid scams, when purchasing online. Also, check out the price comparison to see how much money you can actually save by ordering cheap tax free cigarettes online.
UPDATE: New coupon codes for buying cigarettes online were added (you can find the coupon codes at the bottom of the guide).
This guide is a result of my research of duty-free/tax-free cigarettes online. I’m not smoking and I’m actually against it. It’s a bad habit.
My reason for writing this guide:
It all started with my mother. She has been smoking for 20+ years. After my father lost his job (and he remained unemployed for nearly two years) the family’s budget got really tight and I tried to help by finding the cheapest, most discounted cigarettes online for my mother. This is when I stumbled upon duty-free (sometimes called tax free but actually that’s incorrect, explanation can be found here: the difference between duty-free and tax free) shops selling cheap cigarettes online.
It is surprising how much money you can save by buying cigarettes online!
I hope this guide will help you (if you are smoking) or your family (if someone is smoking in your family) to help save money on cigarettes. It certainly helped us a lot.
– Is it legal? Let’s find out!
Many people assume erroneously, that you can not buy cigarettes online legally. It’s actually not true.
Legit duty-free shops circumvent duty-free laws and are able to sell unbelievably cheap cigarettes online legally (with free international shipping and bulk order discount it’s indeed really cheap).
/You can find an explanation of how duty-free online shopping works here.
That guide – among other things – explains how duty-free shops are able to sell duty-free products online legally/
If you are looking to buy cheap cigarettes, your favourite brands at affordable prices online, then you will find this price comparison very useful .
Online duty-free cigarettes are definitely cheaper than brick & mortar vendors.
If you are from Europe or the US you can save a lot of money by ordering cheap cigarettes online (bulk order discount + coupon codes at the bottom, it’s really cheap if you use the coupon).
If you are from any other country, it depends on which country you are from. The price of a pack of cigarettes might still be cheaper in a brick & mortar store in your country, if you are lucky. Taxation of cigarettes is different in each country.
Average price of cigarettes online: A pack of cigarettes costs around € 3 online (that’s $ 4, not counting temporary promotions and bulk discount, discounted cigarettes cost around $3 per pack).
This guide is a result of my research of the US, UK and European online tobacco and online duty-free tobacco products market.
/Offline, brick and mortar duty-free stores are overpriced rip-offs, the price comparison below illustrates this nicely. You shouldn’t shop in duty-free shops at airports, buy tobacco products only at online duty-free stores or you will be ripped off./
You can find similar price comparison of duty-free alcohol here.
– tobacco, cigars, rolling tobacco etc.. everything will be mentioned
Let’s compare prices and see the results.
There are a lot of online stores selling low quality counterfeits (made in Southeastern Asia and China mostly) or stolen black market cigarettes. Make sure to never order from these shops or you can get into a lot of trouble if customs notices it!
The tutorial after the price comparison will teach you how to identify these illegal vendors.
The price of a pack of cigarettes in the US state-by-state in 2016 (interactive map, click on any state to see the price):
UPDATE: Interactive map of the US showing cigarette prices is currently not available. Working on a fix. Check the price table below. New interactive map with updated prices is coming soon.
Here you can see a state-by-state breakdown of a price of a pack cigarettes in brick & mortar shops in each state in 2014, 2013, 2012 and in 2011. the price includes taxes, and the numbers are from the federal government’s website.
/I have include more than one year’s data to give a better overall picture of the decease/increase/fluctuation in the price of a pack of cigarettes in the US./
|State||Price of a pack of cigarettes in the USA|
|Kentucky||$ 4.97||$ 6.56||$ 4.96||$ 5.40|
|North Dakota||$ 4.91||$ 5.03||$ 5.04||$ 5.33|
|West Virginia||$ 4.74||$ 4.84||$ 5.07||$ 5.43|
|Oklahoma||$ 6.19||$ 5.24||$ 5.19||$ 6.29|
|Idaho||$ 4.99||$ 5.11||$ 5.25||$ 5.41|
|Missouri||$ 5.58||$ 5.87||$ 5.25||$ 5.25|
|Louisiana||$ 4.82||$ 5.33||$ 6.50||$ 5.44|
|Oregon||$ 5.59||$ 5.35||$ 5.74||$ 5.69|
|Wyoming||$ 5.50||$ 5.21||$ 5.37||$ 5.41|
|Mississippi||$ 5.75||$ 5.55||$ 5.45||$ 6.34|
|Nevada||$ 5.93||$ 6.04||$ 5.50||$ 6.15|
|South Carolina||$ 5.42||$ 6.25||$ 5.55||$ 5.58|
|Colorado||$ 5.96||$ 5.59||$ 5.19||$ 5.65|
|Indiana||$ 5.50||$ 5.56||$ 5.77||$ 5.97|
|Alabama||$ 5.27||$ 5.18||$ 5.80||$ 5.51|
|Virginia||$ 5.55||$ 5.43||$ 5.81||$ 5.25|
|Ohio||$ 6.22||$ 5.67||$ 5.88||$ 6.03|
|Tennessee||$ 5.56||$ 4.91||$ 5.89||$ 5.30|
|Georgia||$ 5.29||$ 5.93||$ 5.93||$ 6.39|
|Minnesota||$ 6.53||$ 5.96||$ 5.95||$ 8.10|
|Florida||$ 6.08||$ 6.29||$ 6.29||$ 6.30|
|Delaware||$ 6.00||$ 6.10||$ 6.00||$ 6.35|
|North Carolina||$ 5.51||$ 5.14||$ 6.03||$ 5.45|
|Nebraska||$ 5.55||$ 5.99||$ 6.09||$ 6.23|
|Kansas||$ 6.00||$ 6.47||$ 6.21||$ 5.83|
|Montana||$ 5.99||$ 6.12||$ 6.25||$ 6.46|
|Arkansas||$ 5.96||$ 7.10||$ 6.50||$ 6.07|
|New Hampshire||$ 5.87||$ 4.86||$ 6.59||$ 6.44|
|Utah||$ 7.22||$ 6.88||$ 6.64||$ 6.89|
|California||$ 5.19||$ 6.45||$ 6.45||$ 5.89|
|South Dakota||$ 6.03||$ 6.82||$ 6.77||$ 6.08|
|New Mexico||$ 6.88||$ 6.69||$ 6.91||$ 7.67|
|Michigan||$ 6.90||$ 6.50||$ 6.50||$ 8.00|
|Pennsylvania||$ 6.80||$ 6.93||$ 6.95||$ 6.85|
|Maine||$ 7.97||$ 6.97||$ 7.12||$ 7.37|
|Texas||$ 6.07||$ 6.89||$ 7.24||$ 6.69|
|Iowa||$ 6.00||$ 7.52||$ 7.25||$ 6.29|
|D.C.||$ 7.99||$ 8.27||$ 7.89||$ 7.99|
|Maryland||$ 6.70||$ 6.53||$ 7.93||$ 7.75|
|Wisconsin||$ 8.11||$ 7.98||$ 8.11||$ 8.82|
|Washington||$ 9.89||$ 8.98||$ 8.31||$ 9.30|
|New Jersey||$ 8.35||$ 8.00||$ 8.55||$ 8.20|
|Massachusetts||$ 8.30||$ 8.49||$ 8.77||$ 9.95|
|Connecticut||$ 8.25||$ 8.85||$ 9.30||$ 9.52|
|Vermont||$ 8.23||$ 7.60||$ 9.52||$ 9.62|
|Rhode Island||$ 8.60||$ 8.16||$ 9.56||$ 8.95|
|Alaska||$ 9.14||$ 9.39||$ 9.59||$ 9.79|
|Arizona||$ 6.87||$ 7.46||$ 9.65||$ 8.05|
|Hawaii||$ 9.73||$ 10.22||$ 9.68||$ 9.55|
|Illinois||$ 9.67||$10.25||$ 11.59||$ 11.50|
|New York||$ 11.90||$ 12.50||$ 14.50||$ 12.85|
As you can see the price ranges from $ 12.85 in New York to $ 5.25 in Missouri.
Quite a lot of variety among the states. But none of come anywhere close to an online duty free shop.
Here is an example of what sort of prices you can expect in an online duty-free store:
You can get a pack of cigarettes for as low as $ 3(the average is $4.4, depending on the brand). Bulk order discount is possible (bulk order, 2+ cartons).
A pack of cigarettes sells for an unbelievable $ 3.2 per pack online. That’s cheaper than in Missouri by two dollars and $ 9 cheaper than in New York!
/+ free shipping to most countries, credit cards accepted/
The following tobacco brands are sold by the company:
American Legend, Benson n’ Hedges Cigarettes, Camel, Captain Black Cigarettes, Craven A Filter, Davidoff, Dunhill, Fortuna Cigarettes, Gauloises, Gitanes, Glamour Cigarettes, Gold Classic, Gold Crown, Golden American, Golden Gate, HB Cigarettes, Karelia, Kent, Kool, L&M, Lambert n’ Butler, Lucky Strike, Monte Carlo, More Cigarettes, Nat Sherman, Newport, Next, Pall Mall, Parliament, Peter Stuyvesant, R1, Raquel, Regal, Rothmans, Salem, Silk Cut, Sobranie, State Express , Superkings, Vogue, West, Winston and many more.
/credit cards accepted, free international shipping/
In the UK and much of Western Europe a pack of cigarettes (or fags, as the British call them) is around: £ 6 , € 8, $ 10.
In East-Europe it’s the half of that. It’s around $ 5 for a pack, which is still more expensive than an online duty free shop.
Here are the prices in Euros:
USD to EUR, exchange rate 2016: $ 40.99 is € 32
A pack of cigarettes sells for € 3.2 per pack from an online duty-free shop.
That’s cheaper than anywhere in West Europe (and most of Eastern Europe).
/Free shipping everywhere in Europe, credit cards accepted, the cigarettes are arriving from outside the EU./
/credit cards accepted, free international shipping/
It’s very easy, this easy to understand, step-by-step tutorial will show you how to check any e-commerce store – not just shops selling cigarettes online – for warning signs.
There are two types of online shops you need to avoid:
There are fours things to keep in mind when you are trying to determine the legitimacy of an e-commerce site:
Common sense: Look at the webpage. Is the website cared for? Or is it looking abandoned and haven’t been updated for a while? Does the website look good?Does it look like how a public face of a company supposed to look like? Does it look like a legitimate, operating e-commerce store? If it doesn’t look cared for, there is probably a good reason for it.
Accepting credit cards: If an online duty-free shop does not accept credit cards you are dealing with a scam. Or it’s a website selling black market cigarettes illegally.
Credit card payment processors have very strict requirements. They are really thorough and if they as much as suspect anything remotely illegal they shut down credit card processing on the website instantly (and also fine the website and alert authorities). Therefore, websites selling illegal cigarettes don’t take credit/debit cards. They prefer anonymous, unregulated payment methods e.g.:
etc…. Avoid online shops like this.
Contact the webshop before you make a purchase: First of all, make sure you can actually contact them. Contact them and don’t buy anything till they respond.
Scam sites are usually not given much attention. Scammers create hundreds of low quality fake sites and wait till someone falls for one them and gives them sensitive information. They don’t bother replying to customer emails and they definitely don’t provide a phone number.
Websites selling black market cigarettes do not have contact information listed on the website. They know they are doing something illegal and they will try to remain as anonymous as possible.
If you follow the simple step-by-step tutorial above, you will be able to tell the difference between legitimate online businesses and scams.
/You can apply this for every type of e-commerce store, not just online duty-free shops./
Check the social media profiles of the store (if they have one of course). Are they abandoned, or are they active?
Check the website for dates (e.g.: “Copyright 2010” in the footer, that would be a warning sign, websites which are not optimized for mobile etc..).
/Of course anyone can put anything on the website. To determine whether it’s true or not, and if you are tech savvy enough, go to Easywhois.com, insert the URL and look at “Creation date:” and “Update date:”. These will tell you without a shadow of a doubt how old the website is, who is behind it, and when was it last updated. But if you just go through the steps above, you can easily tell whether it is a scam without doing this./
You can find the duty-free allowances on tobacco, cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products here: Duty-free, tax free guide with allowances (sorted by country).
/Don’t worry if the order exceeds the duty-free allowance of your country (except in the US and UK, stick to duty free allowances strictly there). They will send only one carton at a time for a period of weeks/months to minimize the risk of getting your order confiscated by customs. Just contact customer support, they will tell you how it goes. But even if they send it all at once it usually arrives./
Ordering cigarettes from online duty-free shops is, in general, perfectly legal. However, certain countries seize your order if it exceeds the limit on duty free products. The UK, and to a lesser extent the US is notorious for this. In those two countries we definitely do not recommend ordering more than the duty free allowance. You can find the duty free allowances here. You should always check the regulations before buying cigarettes, especially in bulk.
The shop I recommend offers a form of insurance to protect buyers. If you decide to pay some extra, your order will be guaranteed to be delivered again if it happens to be seized by customs, free of charge. I strongly suggest using this insurance if you bulk order.
If your shipment is seized or lost for any reason, contact the retailer you bought the smokes from; even if it was uninsured many online shops offer some form of recompense.
Duty-free shops regularly offer discount codes for cigarettes and bulk order discounts. You can find the latest coupon codes here.
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It helps me out a lot and I appreciate it. Thanks!
Check out the other tobacco related price comparison and shopping guides:
Last updated: 2016-08-05
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