Machines that allow people to roll their own cigarettes are gaining in popularity as a less expensive alternative to buying cigarette packs. In Tennessee, smokers who roll their own cigarettes avoid paying the state’s 62 cents per-pack tax, as well as the $1.01 per-pack federal tax.
According to The Tennessean, a company called RYO Machine Rental LLC provides about 1,500 roll-your-own machines in 38 states. The newspaper reports the U.S. Department of the Treasury has been in a legal dispute with the company for almost a year over whether owners of shops with the machines should be considered cigarette manufacturers. If shops were given this designation, they would have to obtain a permit with the federal Tax and Trade Bureau, which would require them to pay additional taxes. The case is currently pending in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.