A self-serve cigarette machine provides the chance for tobacco users to make individualized cigarettes at a reduced cost.
Paul Patel, store manager of Tobacco Super Store, said his store first received the RYO Filling Station last year, after the store opened in October.
"It's a curiosity," he said.
Melvin Buck loads up the RYO Filling Station at Tobacco Super Store on Lycoming Creek Road. The station rolls cigarettes for a low price than cigarettes off the shelf.
The curiosity draws interest from shoppers already there to purchase cigarettes. A store employee will show a customer how to use the machine, but the customer does everything else.
"It's self-serve," Patel said. "Once you learn the machine, it's really easy."
Some of the people who use the machine use it because of the challenges that come from rolling cigarettes without help.
RYO Filling Station at
Tobacco Super Store
1930 Lycoming Creek Road
Hours: Mon. to Thur. - 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fri. to Sat. - 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Sun. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
"They tried rolling their own, but it's time-consuming," he said. "It's a big mess all over the place. For the price and convenience, you can't go wrong (with the filling station)."
Patel said the machine takes ten minutes to produce a carton of cigarettes that drop from the machine into a plastic baggie.
Users can make different variations of the cigarettes by using different tobacco.
"You can get it very close to pretty much any cigarette you want," Patel said. "There are a lot of different combinations."
The tobacco comes in regular and light. Customers can buy specific brands of tobacco to match the taste of the packaged cigarettes.
Patel said an average of 30 to 40 people use the machine daily. Fridays are even busier, he said.
Sometimes with so many people using the machines, a wait of 10 minutes per person ensues.
"If you want the cigarettes cheaper, you have to wait for it," he said.
The wait will soon decrease because Patel said his store will receive a second machine in a few weeks.
Melvin Buck, a customer, said he began using the machine shortly after the store received it because of the convenience that comes with it.
The only other machine currently in the area is at 1930 Lycoming Creek Road at another Tobacco Super Store. That machine arrived in February because of the escalated business.
The store also sells regular cigarettes, chewing tobacco and cigars. In addition, the store cashes checks and money orders.
"It's a one-stop shop," Patel said. "People can cash their checks, get cigarettes and they're ready to run."
For more information, call 651-9240. Tobacco Super Store is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.