DETROIT (AP) -- Michigan officials are trying to snuff out the use of automated cigarette rolling machines at smoke shops that are seen as attractive by cost-conscious smokers.
The Detroit News reports that the Michigan Department of Treasury in March warned 300 smoke shop owners that using one such machine constitutes the illegal manufacture of cigarettes. The $30,000 machine is made by Girard, Ohio-based RYO Machine Rental LLC.
RYO president Phil Accordino says the 790-pound machines shouldn't be considered cigarette manufacturing equipment because they're much slower than those used by big cigarette makers.
Because of a bargain tax rate on pipe tobacco created by Congress, smokers can take a box of pre-made cigarette tubes, 8 ounces of tobacco and 15 minutes to produce a carton for under $30 -- much less than retail.