Skip to main content

Will Minn. tobacco tax help e-cigs catch fire?

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

In a week, Minnesota smokers will see their habit get more expensive, as a cigarette tax goes into effect, raising the cost by $1.60 a pack.

While some may go cold turkey, others likely will make the switch to the electronic cigarette.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that Twin Cities shop owners are seeing an increase in demand for e-cigarettes, and some attribute it directly to the new smoke tax.

MPR talks to Sina War, proprietor of the Uptown Vapor Shoppe in south Minneapolis that opened two months ago. She's already opened a second location in Maplewood.

"It's not just replacing cigarettes," War tells the station of e-cigarettes. "It becomes more of a hobby because you can really customize your experience when using electronic cigarettes."

WCCO-TV reports on a smoke shop in Oakdale that is seeing triple the business for e-cigs.

Is it safe? Is it even better than the real thing? Well, it's cheaper, anyway.

The TV station talks to an actual smoker, Dan Trudeau, who says he smoked regular cigarettes for 15 years, spending $12 a day on his two-pack-a-day habit. Now he spends $12 a month on e-cigarettes.

There's controversy about the product, of course, with some worrying that kids will be lured by the vapor of candy and chocolate flavors. The FDA is wondering how to regulate them. And health officials warn that e-cigs are not aides in quitting smoking.

For now, though, there's clearly a burgeoning market. MPR notes that Angie Griffith, who co-owns Smokeless Smoking, helped start the operation in 2009 at a mall kiosk in Burnsville. It's now opened four outlets, including a Bloomington location six months ago.

Next Up

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.

ambulance

18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.

Hockeyland1

'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

ATV

Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Two Harbors votes overwhelmingly to recall Mayor Chris Swanson

The mayor had been scrutinized for several things leading up to the vote Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.

Related