Updated: Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010, 6:53 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 06 Jul 2010, 6:04 PM EDT
TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - The father of a local soldier serving in Afghanistan is raising a red flag Tuesday night about a ban on sending tobacco products to our troops overseas.
This involves the PACT ACT which limits Indian retailers from sending untaxed smokes through the U.S. Mail, but it apparently may also limit the troops from getting packages from home with tobacco.
Town of Tonawanda father Vince Dellapenta got a call yesterday morning from his son serving with the Army in Afghanistan.
Dellapenta said, "My son said any tobacco products that you have for me at home, ship 'em out now."
He had been told that after July 14th, he won't be able to receive tobacco through the US Mail anymore.
"Is this the time when you want to try to force somebody to try to quit smoking or using tobacco while they're out in the desert or mountains in Afghanistan. I don't think so. They don't need the added stress, said Dellapenta.
Vince immediately emailed his Military Family Readiness Group, which pointed out that there was an exception in the PACT ACT allowing tobacco to be mailed through military express mail, but that might not be enough to get the tobacco to the troops.
Dellapenta also added, "After looking at the final bill, the exemption for our military isn't there."
"I mean they don't have the PX available out there, so how else are they gonna get the stuff to them if we can't send it to them," stated Dellapenta.
So Tuesday afternoon, News 4 took the question to US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who was in Buffalo visiting a job readiness site on Grant Street.
Senator Gillibrand said, "For those parents, I would urge them to call my office because there's no reason that they should be denied access to normal commerce for their sons and daughters that are serving in our military. The PACT ACT is only designed to keep young kids from getting access to cigarettes on line. That's the only purpose and if it has any other impact we will make sure that's not the impact."