New federal regulations put squeeze on local businesses

Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 8:41am

Fans of roll-your-own cigarette machines are getting some bad news from vendors this week. New federal regulations tacked onto a recent transportation bill are putting a squeeze on many smaller roll-your-own retailers.

Basically, the legislation changes the way those shops are defined, from retailers to manufacturers. That means abiding by a whole new host of regulations, from the size of the cigarettes to how shops keep records. Smoke 4 Less operates two stores in the Ark-La-Tex. Partner Aaron Tatum says it would cost a million dollars for the necessary upgrades. Tatum says he pulled the plug on his machines on Sunday, although he's still selling tobacco and tubes to regular customers.

Industry leaders and businesses from 31 states, including Smoke 4 Less, have filed a lawsuit against the measure.


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