Does Instacart Deliver Cigarettes? (No, but one service does!)


Online grocery delivery has taken the world by storm. Even in the remotest of locations, a lot of things can be ordered from the comfort of one’s home. But what about things like cigarettes? Does Instacart deliver cigarettes?

I wasn’t sure but looked into it and found:

No. Instacart does not deliver cigarettes. In fact, they don’t currently deliver any tobacco products. However, since they have started delivering other restricted and regulated products such as alcohol, that could change in the future.

But, sit a spell with me, and I’ll tell you why, and I’ll also tell you about other options for buying cigarettes online.

What about platforms like Doordash and Ubereats? Do you know if it is even legal to deliver cigarettes?

We are going to find that out in this article.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Will Instacart deliver cigarettes?

The short answer is no.

I spent 20 years working as a general manager at Whole Foods. So I know a thing or two about the grocery business, although it’s true that for the most part, Whole Foods Market never sold cigarettes.

Instacart is an app that allows you to order from pharmacies, specialty stores, and grocery stores. It has shoppers who pick the items and deliver the same to you. You can even order ahead or have them delivered to you hours after you’ve placed your order. 

For now, cigarettes are not delivered via the Instacart platform. This is not meant to punish cigarette smokers in any way. There are a few other items, such as alcohol, that they didn’t use to deliver either. But now they do deliver alcohol in 14 states, so tobacco products could be next!

Which states do they deliver alcohol for?

I’m glad you asked. Actually I break down all 14 states, including limitations, restrictions, and if liquor is included, in this recent article

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Okay. No cigs. What else won’t Instacart deliver? 

Instacart’s website shows they don’t deliver the following items:

  • Live animals, including feeder animals for pets
  • Appliances
  • Electronics and electronic peripherals
  • Furniture
  • Non-alcoholic age-restricted products like tobacco and over-the-counter items containing nicotine
  • Items containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine
  • Holiday trees
  • Currency
  • Photos
  • Lottery Tickets
  • Gift cards

So, which delivery platform can you order cigarettes from? We’ve got you covered below.

Can you order cigarettes on DoorDash or Ubereats?

Yes, you can order cigarettes from DoorDash, but on one condition.

Before the “shopper” hands it over to you, you’ll be required to provide ID that proves that you’re at least 21 years old. And, they’ll take their time to check that it’s indeed your ID and that it is not expired.

But, note that DoorDash does not allow its representatives to deliver cigarettes to the following locations:

  • Other businesses that sell tobacco
  • Locker or similar package storage facility
  • P.O. Boxes
  • Prison, reformatory, veteran’s home or state capitol grounds
  • College campus (e.g. frat house)
  • Sport venues
  • Hospitals and health care facilities
  • Public or private school

As at the time of writing this article, Ubereats does not deliver cigarettes. But they deliver alcohol, subject to certain checks.

If you’re not familiar with DoorDash, you can read a recent article of mine. Just click the link to read it.

As at the time I wrote the article DoorDash delivered in 46 states. I also shared other info, such as how it works with Walmart, the states it’s not operating in, how to get your groceries via their platform, whether you should tip their drivers or not…

Why doesn’t Instacart deliver tobacco products?

As per the law, there are pre-conditions that must be met before a person can order and have cigarettes delivered to them. For Instacart to deliver cigarettes, it’ll have to put in place a mechanism to ensure that these conditions are being met or it may have to face the wrath of the law.

It may be in the process of ensuring that these mechanisms are in place, or it may have decided that it’s not worthwhile to deliver tobacco products.

Apart from a few items, Instacart would deliver most things you need. It’s a highly reliable platform. Should you tip its shoppers when they provide products to you? This is an issue some people find a tad confusing. This is why in a recent article of mine, I took the time to answer the questions and also shared some vital info you’ll like to know about Instacart. Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does this mean that the delivery of tobacco products is illegal? Let’s check that out in the next section…

Is it legal to deliver cigarettes?

Yes, it is. But some conditions must be met. Vendors are not contravening the laws when they deliver cigarettes, as long as they’re complying with the provisions of the law. For example, cigarettes must not be distributed or sold to minors (under 21 in this case), and the relevant taxes must be paid.

That’s to say, only folks who are 21 and above can buy and have cigarettes delivered to them.

And, before the cigarettes are delivered, the law requires that it’s actually being delivered to someone who’s 21 or above. That implies that the person delivering is required to check and confirm that this is the case.

Cigarettes and some other products are regulated. So, it’s assumed that those selling and delivering have also complied with the relevant regulations, such as ensuring that the requisite taxes are being paid. As long as they ensure this is being done, it’s legal to deliver cigarettes.

There are federal and state laws in this regard. So, it’s helpful also to check the state laws where you reside just to be doubly sure.  

Does this mean that you can go ahead and order cigarettes online? That’s exactly what I was about to share with you.

Can we order cigarettes online?

Yes, you can. There are still many stores that sell cigarettes online. So many of them. All you need to do is simply Google it so that you can be sure that the stores can deliver to you.

The law does not prohibit the sale of cigarettes

It merely restricts defines the age-group it can be sold to. It helps to see what precisely the Food and Drug Administration wrote. On its website, you’ll find:

“It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product — including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes — to anyone under 21. FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available.”

You can see that the main requirement relates to the buyer’s age. As long as the buyer is 21 and above, they can order cigarettes online.

Did I cover all you wanted to know about Instacart and cigarette delivery?

In the preceding paragraphs, I shared what the laws say about the sale, ordering, and delivery of cigarettes online. The law is not against the sale of cigarettes per se.

It only seeks to prevent its sale to minors (now defined as anyone below 21) and to prevent tax evasion on the product. The bottom line is that it is not prohibited to sell cigarettes online but an order is supposed to be followed.

There’s something you ought to know about Instacart, which I covered in detail in a recent article of mine. Just click the link to read it.

So, just to remind you: You can order cigarettes from DashDoor and many other stores, but Instacart and Ubereats do not deliver cigarettes.

Ready to start ordering from Instacart?

CLICK HERE to go to the Instacart order page.

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I was a leader for Whole Foods Market for over 2 decades. I worked in 9 stores in 4 states, not counting the hundred-plus stores I've assisted in other ways. I was a Global All-Star, a Gold Pen Winner, and won Top-10 Store (company-wide) 3 times in addition to Best New Store (company-wide).

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