FDA launches its attack on cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration, a federal regulatory agency perpetually in search of new products to regulate and new jurisdiction to conquer, last June received the gift it had coveted for decades.  On June 22, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act,” which gave the FDA legal power to regulate the manufacture, marketing and sale of tobacco products including, most importantly, cigarettes.

The regulators at FDA have wasted no time flexing their new regulatory muscles.  Their first target to vaporize?  Why, clove cigarettes, of course.  I’d not even heard of clove cigarettes until someone I know was smoking one outside a club at which I was attending an event in New Orleans last summer.  I was sitting there enjoying a good cigar, and this friend of mine was smoking what appeared to be a cigarette, but whose smoke smelled like no cigarette I’d ever been exposed to.  With my curiosity thus piqued, I asked what the heck kind of cigarette was he puffing.  “Clove” was his reply. 

Clove cigarettes apparently are widely smoked in Indonesia, but the U.S. market for the pungent smokes is apparently small (but dedicated) – less than one-tenth of one percent of  our country’s cigarette consumption.  However, if someone enjoys the taste of burning cloves and wants to smoke a cigarette containing the substance, what the heck — it’s fine with me.  Well, it’s apparently not fine with the freedom-loving folks at the FDA, and they recently banned clove cigarettes.  The agency’s justification for this action (other than, “because it can”) was because the fragrant smoke emanating from clove cigarettes makes them attractive to children. 

Most kids I know wouldn’t know a clove from a dill pickle, and I’ve never heard of teenage gangs waging turf wars over these pungent cigarettes.  Notwithstanding this, the regulators at America’s preeminent Nanny State agency apparently have studied the matter and concluded — despite a 2006 University of Minnesota survey showing a significant drop in the number of high schoolers who had smoked a clove cigarette — that allowing a small number of adult, clove-cigarette aficionados to enjoy their product of choice presents such an overwhelming danger to children, that the “vice” has to be outlawed completely.

Then again, maybe it’s not about the profound “danger” of clove cigarettes at all.  Maybe it’s simply the first move by the FDA to test its new-found power over “flavored” cigarettes as a launching pad to bigger things.  Already, based on a challenge to the FDA by the manufacturer of cigars containing cloves, the agency is arguing in federal court that it can ban cigars containing cloves, just the same as it can ban cigarettes containing the substance because of the alleged allure for young people.  This clearly is an agency flexing its regulatory muscles, and is on the prowl for new and bigger game to bag.  All tobacco smokers better watch out.

59 comments Add your comment

YellerSkeeters are PeterEaters!

November 6th, 2009
6:39 am

Thank you, thank you! Big Brother is going to make everything all right! Help us Government, please save us from our selves!

YellerSkeeters are PeterEaters!

November 6th, 2009
6:53 am

Well, I guess marijuana is “right-out!” Hmmm, who would have thought that a “Liberal” administration would be so totalitarian … “they” did have full disclosure when they ran on a platform of “CHANGE!”

Greg Leathers

November 6th, 2009
7:33 am

I mostly agree with Bob Barr. The only major thing you overlook is the fact that all the diseases tat tobacco smoking causes will be paid for by the tax payers. The reason is that many people who are uninsured will go the the emergency room for symptoms related to smoking and if/when many can’t afford to pay for their bill, guess who will end up footing the bill? The taxpayer. I am all for personal freedom, but its not personal freedom in the current system where anyone can be treated in the E.R. and its not a big deal if you can’t pay the bill, so the taxpayer foots it. Please address that Barr.

clyde

November 6th, 2009
7:54 am

Well Bob,
I hate to see the tobacco industry regulated by the government.I think everyone should have the right to stink up the atmosphere around me anytime they choose to.I don’t believe I should have the right to breathe air that isn’t polluted by tobacco smoke.

My neighbors sure do exercise their right to smoke.Two of them have to cut back on food because their money has to go to cigarettes.They both smoke.They have a limited income,but it’s cigarettes first.Good thinking.Two others have their health ruined and they’re in their forties.The guy lives with a puffer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.His wife is in a little better shape.

One other neighbor is just flat going to die.He’s 54.One other woman goes into coughing spells that make you wonder if she’s going to live the day out,but she’s tougher than she looks.

The sad story though,is my wife.She has the lungs of a smoker and a dry cough that bothers her.She’s never smoked in her life.She took care of her father for 6 years and he smoked almost continuously.He affected her health by smoking.There’s no doubt about this.

Two of the smokers in the neighborhood have small children in the house.They inhale the same smoke their smoking parents do.But no regulation,right?Nasty government.

Hard Right Hook

November 6th, 2009
7:58 am

Clyde:

How successful was Prohibition? Have any recollection?

joe matarotz

November 6th, 2009
8:15 am

Another government conspiracy to take away our freedom. Freedom that is guaranteed by the Constitution. Freedom to smoke – cloves. What’s next, Bobolink? Sour cream and chives? The baked potato will never be the same. You are unbelievable – but hysterical.

s

November 6th, 2009
8:16 am

Next – cloves themselves will be outlawed so we won’t be able to use them in our cooking because someone will start rolling their own clove cigarettes!

Roekest

November 6th, 2009
8:36 am

I hear the following will be banned next year:

1. Bacon (because of the fat)
2. Hugs (because some people hug too hard)
3. Air (because it’s dirty……..especially in Atlanta)
4. Christmas (you’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch!)………..Wait, I think the Socio-Nazis have already banned that in many communities.

Expect teenage gangs to wage turf wars over Cloves and Hugs in a year’s time.

jconservative

November 6th, 2009
8:52 am

The word on the street is that FDA is one the road to banning all flavored tobacco products. You fools who smoke & enjoy, say Menthol,
enjoy while you can – they are on the way out.

spence

November 6th, 2009
9:06 am

We have met the enemy – and he is us!
— Pogo

Sam

November 6th, 2009
9:18 am

Bob AkBar!!!!

Clyde, if you don’t like living in your trailer park then move. The world aint perfect, aint gonna be. And I’ll drink to that whenever I godamm please.

Turd Ferguson

November 6th, 2009
9:21 am

Stop faking it Bob Barr. I live in North Fulton and am constantly awakened by gun fire. YES…gun fire from rogue gangs of clove smoking youth. They have now begun home invasions in a constant search for clove cigarettes and when its is rumored one gang has some of these clove cigarettes it becomes an all out “Over the top rope 32 man battle royal”.

As usual our fine govt has anticipated yet another problem, like any good marketing dept would, and closed the lid on this rampant abuse of clove cigarettes.

God bless America.

Turd Ferguson

November 6th, 2009
9:23 am

PS…Clyde, you go to hell.

Glenn

November 6th, 2009
9:51 am

Good . I hope tobacco is made illegal just like most addictive drugs . Atleast with heroin you can catch a buzz . If tobacco was illegal it might make government run healthcare economically feasible .

Glenn SUCKS

November 6th, 2009
10:01 am

Move to Germany you F099

Turd Ferguson

November 6th, 2009
10:04 am

G Glenn…would you also regulate lettuce consumption amongst rabbits?
Or adult fecal matter release? Today cigarettes tomorrow your twinkies or beer…

Glenn

November 6th, 2009
10:14 am

If lettuce was addictive & had carcinogens I would want to see it made illegal . Why would I move to Germany ? We are going that direction . If anyone should move it should be you . I think you would see the countries where you would feel the most free are primal & third world . Is that really what you want Turd? I bet not & as long as you are in this country you can’t stop me from trying to protect you . I love you Turd .

CE

November 6th, 2009
10:17 am

As a physician, I see daily the havoc to American’s health (to say nothing of their pocketbooks) caused by smoking. I sympathize with those who argue against more government interference in our lives (like health care!), but this is one time I must concur. We ALL pay for smoking related illnesses, either in the form of increased insurance premiums, or, as is all too frequent, in the form of Medicaid and Medicare costs–and this doesn’t begin to address the human suffering this addiction causes in pain, disability and death. Smoking of ANY type–cloves, tobacco, marijuana, whatever–is harmful. I would venture to guess that all above who condemn the FDA…are smokers.

progressive liberal

November 6th, 2009
10:18 am

We know what is best for you. I know it will cause a few pains here and there but you will thank us when you are 92yrs old and have to have someone to clean your a$$ for you. Life will be good, all you have to do is sit in the chair and watch government owned and operated tv.

LIBERAL PANSIES

November 6th, 2009
10:27 am

I would like to illustrate a few other things that increase our insurance premiums and health problems. Mcdonalds, television, public school lunches, alcohol. Do you want to ban all these too because they could raise our costs???? I dont smoke personally but I think you should have the right to choose to do what you want. Germany hasn’t outlawed cigarettes you idiot. Go move to Massachusetts or Cali so we can put all you liberal pansies in one place and let you f* it up by yourself.

madmommy

November 6th, 2009
10:50 am

Everyone should be allowed to be free, like a small little paper called the Constitution was for. What would happen to the economy if we outlaw smoking or smokless products? Where would all those jobs go to? I think that with life all things should be done in moderation and exercise should be done daily. So what if someone wants to smoke something or another person wants 3 big mac’s, we all have that right. Who’s to say which is worse.

I will say that the parents who smoke in front of their kids or in the house out to be shot. That’s gross for one thing and just harms your kids in the long run.

I think the gov’t has forgotten what their job description was. Time for a refresher.

freeforever

November 6th, 2009
10:56 am

madmommy:
If you live in big city breathing the air is worse than smoking. So put a space suit on your kids or grandkids! If you do not want to pay for someone to get medical help then do not do it. If you pay taxes, then elect someone who will put America first than the global economy first. All the green jobs are located in France, England and Germany but you are paying for it. How does that suit you?

Glenn

November 6th, 2009
11:00 am

The economy would be better off if tobacco was made illegal . Should we be free to do heroin or crystal meth ? The government does have a role in protecting us & thats a good thing . I don’t think that fast food should be made illegal . It should just be heavily taxed to help pay for the harm it does to society.

Chris Broe

November 6th, 2009
11:05 am

Should this be the FDA’s jurisdiction, or the CDC’s? Wasn’t it a clove cigar that enticed the Oval Intern into that wonderfully-contagious oral agreement with President Clinton in the oval office? Is this just another part of the vast right wing conspiracy to discredit the Clintons? Notice how the FDA hasn’t said a word about clove tea bags?

Sometimes a cigar is not a cigar at all. Clove cigars have healing properties if you rub the leaves all over a woman’s body, (and then get her drunk).

I’m starting to see Bob Barr’s point about big government being the problem. He may convert me yet to his surprisingly-flexible Libertarian Party and their one-issue manifesto about rebeling against whatever the government’s got.

clyde

November 6th, 2009
11:32 am

Turd Ferguson,

Here’s an oddity;your first name is exactly what I call cigarettes.

And to someone else,

I’m not really old enough to remember Prohibition,but wasn’t that about alcohol?And Al Capone? Trailer?????Since I don’t smoke I can afford a house.

You all might not believe this,but I don’t smoke,and I have little use for anyone that does.They don’t get in my house and they don’t get in my truck.I sometimes have to go to theirs though,to fix their piddly little problems.They can’t pay to have anything fixed because their money goes toward cigarettes.Their kids eat macaroni.Sound familiar??

Linda

November 6th, 2009
11:41 am

In addition to cigarettes, alcohol, fat, sugar & salt, let’s not forget cars, ladders, stairs, matches & appliances.
The FDA banned tomatoes last year, wiped out a bunch of farmers, until they found out it wasn’t even tomatoes. Wasn’t it spinach or some other super nutritional item that wasn’t being smoked?
Even the clove growers & cigarette makers provide JOBS.

Paul A

November 6th, 2009
11:42 am

The government just doesn’t get it Bob.

Prohibition of vice will NEVER work.

When the US tried prohibition it created, in effect, the Mafia.

For decades we’ve had a “War on Drugs” yet drugs are more plentiful, of higher quality and easier to get.

Cigarettes are next… The market is already going underground. I’ve seen several people selling smokes “bootleg”. Where they got them I don’t know, but I can see this as just the beginning.

Uncle Sam wants his tax money? Keep cranking up the taxes and people will just smuggle them into this country like dope. What is Joe Arpaio gonna do? Lock up cigarette peddlers?

People need to get a life and stay out of my life.

If you want to smoke, that’s your choice. You choose to live with the consequences…..

Before our imperial federal government makes any more demands on smokers they need to start after FAT PEOPLE ! You see them everyday…. 350 lbs and woofing down a double cheeseburger. Obesity costs this nation three times what we spend on smoking related illnesses.

TAX THE FAT SLOBS !!!

godless heathen

November 6th, 2009
11:45 am

The funny part is that when all the smokers die or quit, the sanctimonious ones that just love the confiscatory taxes on tobacco products will have to pay all the taxes to replace the lost revenue from tobacco taxes. Government’s addiction to tax revenue is greater than any smoker’s nicotine addiction.

And think of the strain on Social Security and Medicare when everyone lives 30+ years after age 65.

retiredds

November 6th, 2009
11:51 am

Bob, knowing what we know about smoking as a cause of cancer, I wonder what your take on the following would be. Any smoker would be willing sign forms that would waive insurance coverage for any vascular or heart coverage and would be willing to pay the full cost of any medical costs incurred from smoking. That would eliminate the government from being involved and my having to pay exorbitant health care premiums to support the cancer stick users.

Turd Ferguson

November 6th, 2009
12:05 pm

CE

November 6th, 2009
10:17 am

You wish you were a doctor ya LOSER. All you molly coddling bleeding heart peace mongers make me sick. Clyde and the rest of ya can GO TO HELL!!

Glenn Is Stupid

November 6th, 2009
12:16 pm

Glenn, the govt has a role protecting us when our decisions endanger others lives i.e. why you can drink but not drink and drive. Cigarettes in your own privacy do not endanger anyone, shut up and get over it.

Glenn Is Stupid

November 6th, 2009
12:17 pm

Turd you and me should be Eskimo Brothers

Hard Right Hook

November 6th, 2009
12:18 pm

progressive liberal

November 6th, 2009
10:18 am
“We know what is best for you. I know it will cause a few pains here and there but you will thank us when you are 92yrs old and have to have someone to clean your a$$ for you. Life will be good, all you have to do is sit in the chair and watch government owned and operated tv.”

We? Who is “we?”

Steve

November 6th, 2009
1:09 pm

retireddds,
While I agree with you in principal, that would go against the “not denied health insurance because of preexistiing condition(s)” Obama and the Democrats are attempting to enforce for health care.

Ladysable

November 6th, 2009
1:34 pm

retiredds,

Provided the raping taxes by the Government on cigarettes is eliminated I’m quite sure that many would be willing to sign your document. The tax savings alone would pay for one’s healthcare.

Clyde,

Perhaps if Government wouldn’t excessively tax cigarettes – those who smoke could afford to feed their children more than mac & cheese.

Some idiots forget that it is an addiction and should be treated as such. Heck, even insurance companies will not cover programs to aid in stopping – nor will the Government! But their hands are extended for the taxes!!

madmommy

November 6th, 2009
1:51 pm

While I understand that the air is horrible in Atlanta, I just think to add to it, in your own home in front of children is wrong. My child will not be sent out in a suit, but I do try to control what might be “additional.” It’s my job as a parent to protect and guide my child and that’s what I try to do.

We all know the Green Jobs are over there. Why don’t we have them over here? Our very own gov’t can’t keep their hands to themselves and are in so deep with the oil companies and coal companies that anything that would “cost” them more out of pocket now, wouldn’t be good for them. Do you ever stop and ask yourself what happend to the electric car?

The taxes they eran off every box of smokes is enough for them to keep it legal, but to apease the masses who want to point the finger away from them, they have to point it at someone else. I know that their are Fat people out there who are that way from medication, so not all fat is because of fat behaviors like over eating. Majority rules thought and everyone is starting to have a battle with the bulg. When are they going to start taxing all the Fat items? I don’t buy them but a few times a year as it is, so it won’t bother me. I can’t stand when people eat all crap, all the time and wonder what happend?

Hard Right Hook

November 6th, 2009
2:03 pm

I didn’t think you had the guts to answer.

Glenn

November 6th, 2009
3:01 pm

@ Glenn is stupid

What if you burn your house down ? Everyones premiums will rise due to your addiction .The next time you want a cigarette have a delicious smoothy filled with fruit & vegetable juice . Hopefully soon the government will make tobacco illegal & stop you from hurting yourself anymore . It will also cut insurance costs & make you more productive .

Glenn is God

November 6th, 2009
3:08 pm

Thank you Glenn for your brilliant insight.

If Glenn says it’s OK then you have permission. If Glenn says it’s not OK then you should be arrested.

Typical moonbat thinking.

Jefferson

November 6th, 2009
3:20 pm

Whose going to make up the taxes that smoker pay?

reservoirDAWG

November 6th, 2009
3:36 pm

Glenn is a panty waste.

Turd Ferguson

November 6th, 2009
3:36 pm

madmommy

November 6th, 2009
1:51 pm

Its none of your business nor is it part of Al Gorons business. Your types are always “well it doesnt affect me, so.” Well I bet if the govt began taxing hostess cupcakes and schiltz malt liquour that would turn you out into the streets, smashing cop cars, burning bras and just bring about a general case of hysterics.

Turd Ferguson

November 6th, 2009
3:37 pm

PS…Glenn is a wanker.

Skip

November 6th, 2009
4:47 pm

I get it now, increased health costs to the tax payer are OK if it’s due to some cause you champion.

Left Jab

November 6th, 2009
4:49 pm

Here’s the thing. Tobacco kills tens of thousands of people every year. Marijuana doesn’t. Why? Because marijuana growers are NOT putting chemicals into the mix to make it more addictive. Marijuana is waaaaay more “pure” than tobacco. The tobacco industry is in a spiraling decline. People like Bob Barr are aiding and abetting the murders that are Big Tobacco.

PickwickPolitik

November 6th, 2009
6:34 pm

I don’t understand why Menthols are not considered flavored cigarettes. Why the sudden picking at Indonesia? Being that less than a tenth of cigarette consumers smoke cloves, how does that help stop teens (who are just rebelling anyway; it’d be the same if cloves never existed) from smoking? And what does that have to do with stopping EVERYONE from enjoying a clove, if they want? Even ME, who will NOT burden Johnnie the taxpayer with paying for my lung cancer (since I won’t get it from smoking 2-3 a month)?

I am an occasional smoker of cloves, certainly not enough to warrent the tirades and hypocricy coming from some of these commentors who say all smokers are banned from their house (I’d like to know how healthy their food diet is). Goodness. You must have high expectations. Must we also dress like you and speak like you in order to earn a moment of your presence?

Just let me live in a free country!

Stop the domestic violence of innocent animals

November 6th, 2009
6:52 pm

Quit eating all the DEAD hogs, chickens , and cows and leave the smokers alone.

Linda

November 6th, 2009
7:39 pm

Why not pick on alcohol, fat, sugar & salt?
Why not pick on cars, ladders, stairs, matches & appliances? They kill & maim, too.
This is discrimination!

Linda

November 6th, 2009
8:41 pm

Hey, Stop, Do you know who killed the first animal for its pelt/skin?
Hint, see Genesis 3:21.
Did you know that PETA was predicted in the Bible?
Hint, see 1 Timothy 4.

KB

November 7th, 2009
1:51 pm

What everyone is missing in this is the little fact that’s being left out of all of this: Philip Morris Inc. had a hand in this ban. Why didn’t menthol cigarettes get banned, too? Philip Morris. Big tobacco is big money and there’s no way that the government wants to lose the kickbacks from the likes of the biggest tobacco company in the nation. The ban was announced and PM comes out with what? A new brand of menthol cigs called Blend 54. It is, with no pun intended, a smoke screen. They’re not trying ‘to protect children’. There’s trying to monopolize. Big brother is always watching…and they have big friends looking to beat your lunch money out of you.