State shuts down roll-your-own tobacco machines

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state is pulling the plug on machines that roll cigarettes while you wait.

The Department of Revenue has informed the machine owners they need manufacturing and distribution permits and other approvals for selling cigarettes.

But owners, including Kurt Kruchten, say they are selling loose tobacco, not cigarettes. Kruchten operates Smokes-4-Less in Slinger. The roll-your-own stores sell loose tobacco and the consumer loads it into the machine, which rolls a carton of cigarettes in 10 to 15 minutes. The cartons cost around $32, about half of the cost of a carton of premium brand cigarettes.

The Journal Sentinel says revenue agents have been doing on-site visits, unplugging machines and posting notices. The department estimates there are 50 to 100 roll-your-own machines in the state.