There are a handful of magical places in New York City where you can roll your own cigarettes and save considerable amounts of money in so doing. They’re under threat, though, because the city has filed suit against the first two in existence.
That hasn’t stopped a third roll-your-own-smokes place from opening up in Sheepshead Bay. The Daily News reports that owner Jack Wang opened City Smokes last week without knowing about the lawsuits.
Wang reportedly has a dozen automatic rolling machines, the things that you use to make your cigarettes and avoid the heft $7.47 in state, federal and city taxes.
The city’s press release from last month regarding the Island Smokes lawsuit said that “These ‘roll-your-own’ businesses sell cigarettes in disregard of tax and other regulatory statutes applicable to cigarettes, claiming that the business owners do not sell cigarettes, but merely “facilitate” the customers’ assembly of the cigarettes themselves.” Mayor Bloomberg was quoted in the release saying “They are trying to get around the law by claiming they’re not in the business of selling cigarettes when they clearly are.”
The city hasn’t taken action against City Smokes yet, though it’s clearly only a matter of time. Quick, smokers, out to Sheepshead Bay we go before this place closes.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 7, 2011