Monte Carlo cigarettes and other brands have long been a subject of debate, and a Saginaw News story about issues faced by roll-your-own-cigarette shops was no different. The Michigan Department of Treasury has notified about 300 shops across the state — including Let’s Roll Tobacco, which has locations in Saginaw and Bay counties — that allowing customers to use cigarette rolling machines is a form of manufacturing, and enforcement could be on the way.
According to the Michigan Tobacco Products Tax Act, failing to register as a manufacturer could cost store owners in more taxes, as well as penalties and interest on any unpaid taxes during the time they operated the machines.
Though the story was about the new taxes and fees certain tobacco shop owners could face, the discussion fell mostly on smoking, and the high taxation of cigarettes in general.
At Let’s Roll, smokers can get a carton of cigarettes for $25 plus sales tax, about 50 percent less than a carton of name-brand smokes.
While name-brand cigarettes are taxed $2 per pack, or $20 per carton, roll-your-own cigarette stores are taxed based on a percentage of the wholesale price of the loose tobacco they sell.
A few readers said smokers cost taxpayers more than enough already through extra medical expenses incurred from, smoking.
Other readers said it’s a person’s right to smoke if they want to, whether or not smoking causes health problems.