FDA feebly attempts to stop underage smoking.
As of September 22nd, 2009, all flavored and clove cigarettes will become a fond memory for those smokers with a more expensive taste. As part of the Food and Drug Administration’s new authority to stringently regulate tobacco products, they have imposed a ban on all but menthol flavored cigarettes. Claiming that flavored cigarettes are geared more towards underage smokers, the Administration is now considering regulations on menthol cigarettes and even flavored cigars.
As an individual of legal smoking age who enjoys a Black on occasion, this comes as an outrage. A quick perusal of the FDA’s flimsy research polls and somewhat vague explanations begs the question, “What’s next?” We all remember how prohibition worked out. Am I the only one who feels like the government is overstepping its bounds and being a touch too parental in this situation? The only way to completely stop underage smoking is to ban all tobacco products, plain and simple. Is that the next step? We all know the health risks of the products we choose to consume, whether it be tobacco or alcohol or even caffeine. We can read the warning labels. I feel the FDA has insulted the intelligence of the American people.
A few days ago I made a trip to the local tobacco shop to grab a couple packs before the ban. The owner told me he’d gotten a letter stating that the cigarettes would be considered contraband from the 22nd on. The FDA’s website warns that anyone caught with cloves can be subject to seizure, fines, etc. Distributors who fail to comply with the ban will receive a Warning Letter before the “FDA may take enforcement action to protect the public health,” (see their FAQ on Flavored Tobacco).
Personally, I don’t need the government to protect my health. Djarums are still available online, much cheaper than they were in the shops. Many of the websites are questionable, but hopefully it will still be possible to ship from overseas without being scammed, (or caught).
Associated Press >> “FDA ban on flavored cigs takes effect”
FDA >> “Flavored Tobacco“