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Minnesota Tobacco Tax May Give Boost to E-Cigarettes

Tony Spoden
Tony Spoden draws in vapor from new “e-cigarettes, photo by John Schroeder

ST. PAUL (AP) – A looming increase in Minnesota’s cigarette tax is leading to new interest in electronic cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking.

Shop owners in the Twin Cities are seeing increased demand in so-called “e-cigs.” They credit the $1.60-per-pack tax increase that goes into effect for regular cigarettes next week.

Sina War runs the Uptown Vapor Shoppe, an e-cigarette store she opened in south Minneapolis two months ago. She opened a second location in Maplewood last weekend, and other outlets have also popped up in recent years.

Customers say they like being able to get a nicotine fix without inhaling tobacco smoke.

Skeptics say e-cigarettes are still unhealthy, and some are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to play a stronger role in regulating them.

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