It's a concept that's caught on around the country, and now it's in Knoxville. They are stores with machines that will let you roll your own cigarettes.

Nationally, there has been some controversy over the roll-your-own-smokes machines because customers don't have to pay a cigarette tax.

However, the state of Tennessee does not appear to be kicking up a fuss over it.

Smokes 4 Less on Western Avenue advertises up to 50% off a carton of cigarettes.

Customer Erica Smith was making a carton Thursday, and says she's never going back to traditional cigarettes. "Because they burn longer, slower and they are cheaper."

Essentially a customer is buying the loose cheap cigarettes and the empty cigarette tubes. Then they pay to use the machine that puts the two together.

You can pick the cheap cigarette online and the tube that matches the style of your cigarette brand. Store owner Mark Griffey isn't a smoker himself, but heard about how well the do-it-yourself concept was working for businesses nationwide.

"We started checking some out in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. These stores are going up all over the place," Griffey explained.

Buying cigarettes this way saves customers from paying cigarette taxes because they purchase the product in pieces. In fact, New York City has sued one of these shops over taxes.

We checked with the Tennessee Department of Revenue, and the way things stand now, officials don't have a problem with the idea.

"From all our research and everyone we talked to, they are very friendly on this," Griffey said.

So clients like Smith plan to keep on rolling. She left the store with 200 smokes for a little more than $22. "For a regular carton of cigarettes, I would have paid $55," she said.

With a slow economy, businesses like these believe they're onto something.

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