Minnesota State Senators Go After 'Little Cigars'

Legislation seeks to subject product to same taxes, fees as cigarettes

Kari Dziedzic (left), Carla Nelson

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- "Little cigars" are coming in for attention at the Minnesota Legislature, according to a report by The Star Tribune. State senators Kari Dziedzic, (DFL) and Carla Nelson (R) have introduced bills to close what they claim is a loophole in state law that allows these tobacco products to be sold at lower prices, and to be flavored.

These "little cigars" come in packs of 20 with filter and "are just as deadly and dangerous" as cigarettes, Dziedzic said in a statement.

Because they have tobacco leaf in the paper part of the product, they are classified differently than cigarettes for tax and regulatory purposes. That means a pack can be flavored and costs less than one-third of a pack of cigarettes, the senators said.

Their bill would subject "little cigars" to the same taxes and fees and other laws. They would be subject to the same taxes and fees as cigarettes, required to have state Department of Revenue tax stamps to ensure tax compliance and reduce tax evasion and subject to the state's minimum price law.

Click here to read recent CSP magazine coverage of the little cigar issue.