An amendment to the Transportation Bill, passed Friday, could force Roll Your Own cigarette and tobacco businesses out of business.
If signed into law, the bill would require Roll Your Own businesses to pay the same taxes as major cigarette and tobacco companies.
RYO businesses currently allow customers to purchase tobacco and use machines to create their own cigarettes, sometimes costing less than half the price of what it costs to purchase a pack of cigarettes at a regular store. NewChannel5 spoke with customers at a RYO business in Northfield. Many are upset and say the bill may force stores to close, ultimately forcing them to spend more money.
"How does it affect me," said Anita Margheliotti, "I don't want to pay six dollars for a pack ... if a small business wants to stay in business, they should be able to make a little bit of a profit."
The owner and manager of the Nortfield RYO business NewsChannel5 spoke with, were reluctant to speak on camera but said groups are working to possibly file for an injunction. If not, they tell NewsChannel5 hundreds of RYO businesses across the country will be forced to close shop on July 6th, when President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.
Some owners question whether or not this is the Government's attempt to further control tobacco sales. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, tobacco is responsible for about 443,000 deaths in the United States a year.
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