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NY State, City Sue Roll-Your-Own Cigarette Stores

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New York state and New York City say they're joining forces to sue two stores that have been helping smokers avoid taxes by selling roll-your-own cigarettes.

The city Law Department and state attorney general's office announced the lawsuit Tuesday.

Messages seeking comment were not immediately returned by BB's Corner in Brooklyn and Nitecap Entertainment on Staten Island.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the stores' low prices encourage smoking, and their non-fire-safe cigarettes present a hazard.

The city says it has already shut down six similar operations. The stores sell customers loose tobacco and tubes of cigarette paper, then provide machines that quickly make the materials into cigarettes.

Loose tobacco is taxed at a rate that's a fraction of the rate for a commercially made pack.

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