New tobacco store opens in Arlington

Arlington Tobacco Express customer Kent Pruitt likes to kneel down to collect his cigarettes from the shop’s filling station machine. - Kirk Boxleitner
Arlington Tobacco Express customer Kent Pruitt likes to kneel down to collect his cigarettes from the shop’s filling station machine.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — Dennis Murphy had never sold tobacco before this summer, but he has a lifetime of experience in knowing what makes for a satisfying smoke.

After a shoulder surgery ended his career in ship repair, Dennis and his wife Jill found a new calling as the owners of the Arlington Tobacco Express, a “filling station” that allows the buyer to customize their own cigarettes.

“This machine can fill a 200-count box in eight minutes,” Dennis Murphy said. “You can adjust it so that the tobacco is packed as tight or as loose as you like.”

Murphy touted the simplicity of the do-it-yourself process and the lack of chemical additives in the cigarettes that customers make with the tobacco and tubes that they purchase right in the store. Kent Pruitt, a regular patron of the Tobacco Express since its June 18 opening on 334 N. West Ave. in Arlington, agreed with this assessment.

“The only problem is that it makes you smoke more, because you’re getting a better cigarette,” Pruitt laughed.

While the Tobacco Express also carries cigars, pipes and pipe cleaners, and various flavors of tobacco, its main trade is still the filling station which can dispense cigarettes in counts of 20, 100 and 200.

“You can get 100 cigarettes for $19.49 here,” Dennis Murphy said. “It’s the cheapest way to smoke.”

“I can get a carton here for what I paid for four packs of cigarettes before,” Pruitt said. “It costs a third less and delivers a cigarette that’s 100 times better.”

“I was spending $15 a day on cigarettes before,” Jill Murphy said. “The fact that people can personalize their own cigarettes so much is what makes them feel good about the product they’re getting.”

Dennis Murphy explained that such filling stations have been a staple of the East Coast for years, but have only hit the West Coast within the past year.

“We’re just happy if we can save folks money and offer them a better smoke,” Murphy said.

The Arlington Tobacco Express is located at 334 N. West Ave. in Arlington and is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can call them at 360-435-6693.


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