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Native American tribes try the vaping trade – but some have reservations

Native American tribes have long been associated with the production and sale of conventional cigarettes, which can contribute significant and vital revenue on tribal reservations. Now, in a modern twist, a few groups are moving into the electronic cigarette business, some buoyed by tax advantages – while many tribes remain sceptical at best.

Among those moving into the vapour trade, the Meskwaki tribe of Iowa plans to start producing its own line of e-liquid at its Big River Trading Co. factory this summer.

The tribe already sells vaping products – currently produced by an outside manufacturer – to casinos and various tribal- and non-tribal-owned wholesalers in seven states.

In neighbouring Nebraska, a business subsidiary owned by the Winnebago tribe’s Ho-Chunk Inc. economic development wing is partnering with an outside company to produce a line of e-liquids.

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