Single cigarettes are openly obtainable for sale at some Bay City convenience stores, yet the exercise is illegal, police say.

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There's a new trfinish hitting Bay City, and also convenience keep supervisors say it may aid people kick the halittle bit of smoking.

State authorities, but, say it's illegal and also needs to stop.It's the sale of single cigarettes - at 50 cents a stick.

Two out of 5 convenience stores visited by a Times reporter on Tuesday marketed individual cigarettes out of clear jugs that sat beside the cash registers. Handmade signs indicated they were 47 cents plus taxes.

Store managers said they started offering the single sticks within the last 2 weeks, after the latest tobacco taxation boost. They maintain it's helping customers that can't afford $6 or $7 a pack and also encouraging them to smoke much less.

"If I've got a entirety load in my automobile, I'm going to smoke it," said one Bay City man, picking up 2 cigarettes for $1 on Tuesday. "Now I acquire one or two a day and I'm great."

According to the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth, the sale of single cigarettes is in violation of state regulation, and is thought about a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine for each offense.

Critics of the legislation say it functions out in favor of the tobacco industry, not the customer, as the purchase of a load of 20 keeps a would-be quitter committed, and also casual smokers who really only desire one or two are encouraged to smoke a totality fill.

Store owners and state authorities say the practice of marketing single cigarettes has actually been going on for years in Saginaw, though it's largely done under the respond to.

If it's going on over the counter in Bay City, that's pretty brazen, states Sgt. John Trafelet of the Michigan State Police.

"It's not genuine legal to market single cigarettes," Trafelet said. "And we execute have actually a tobacco enforcement team."

Jim Drager is the assistant manager for United Wholesale Grocery, 6847 West Side Saginaw Roadway, the tobacco wholesaler for many kind of location convenience stores.

"I recognize that some of our customers execute it, yet it is very much versus the law," Drager sassist of offering individual cigarettes. "I'd say 90 percent of our Saginaw stores do it, but they store it under the counter."

Store managers say the practice has hit Bay City now that the economy has sunk to a brand-new low and also cigarette prices have got to a brand-new high. Those components merged have actually led many kind of people to try to quit, making individual cigarettes a famous commodity.

"Many of them are trying to quit smoking, or cutting back, or to be hocolony, they can't afford a fill," said one manager of a save in Bay City that has started selling singles.

Kim Brissette, manager of Brissette's 6-12 Inc., 717 N. Henry St., said she was told by her wholesaler that it's illegal, otherwise she would certainly be marketing them, too.

"A lot of civilization are asking for them," she sassist. "I think it would be a great idea because the majority of world can't afford the cigarettes. People are having actually a tough time. It's sad."

Michelle Bekid, owner of Beson's Party Store, 1005 Marquette St., shelp she tried marketing cigarettes individually a while back but found out that it's illegal and stopped.

Bill Card, owner of Kader's Party Shoppe, 319 Marquette St., shelp stores that are selling single cigarettes may think they're acting within the legislation simply bereason they keep the surgeon general's warning on the jug.

"It's a gray component of the regulation, however I would certainly say it's not legal," he shelp. "We're not going to execute it."

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