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Minn. tobacco tax may give boost to e-cigarettes

Published On: Jun 24 2013 03:45:28 PM CDT
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© iStockphoto.com/Maciej Noskowski

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

A looming increase in Minnesota's cigarette tax is leading to new interest in electronic cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking.

A Minnesota Public Radio report says 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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