Federal Highway Bill includes removal of RYO Tobacco machines
Roll-your-own cigarette machines are shutting down in response to a new federal law.
YNN's Alexandra Weishaupt has more.
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FISHKILL, N.Y. --Discount Smoke's roll-your-own cigarette machines are shutting down.
“I don’t want to close the store because I have a nice store. Every customer who comes through here is very happy,” said Vivian, Tobacco House employee.
But those customers won't be happy much longer thanks to a provision of the federal highway bill passed Friday.
It's prompted some tobacco shop owners to stop running their roll-your-own cigarette machines. The rolling machines make 200 cigarettes in about 10 minutes, and are more cost effective for buyers, who pay a more substantial amount for pre-packaged cigarettes. Customers have been required to operate the machine, so that store owners would not be considered manufacturers.
But the new bill now declares owners of the machines to be manufacturers, subjecting them to higher taxes on the product and the need for a manufacturers permit, making this change detrimental to store owners who thrive on this for business.
YNN spoke with one store owner, who declined to speak on camera, but says he owns 15 roll-your-own Tobacco Houses, and as of July 6, will have to shut down his machines at every location.
“When we stop the machines we don’t have the business and the customers don’t come in to buy the cigarettes,” said Vivian.
And because the stores won’t be reaching revenue, the store-chain owner says he will be forced to close his doors for good.
He currently has four to five employees at each store, and the latest news is worrying them.
“I’m very scared the machines will shut down. I’m scared ill lose my job,” said Vivian.
And she says so are many other Tobacco House employees, as the July 6 deadline quickly approaches.