Retailers Feeling Flavored Cigarette Ban

Sep 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm
Clove cigarettes are all smoked out. -
Clove cigarettes are all smoked out.
A guy walks into HSB Tobacconist in the Delmar Loop on Wednesday afternoon and asks Rick, the store manager, for a pack of Djarum Black Cloves.

Rick laughs. "You living in a cave? Monday was the last day we could sell cloves. The flavored cigarette ban started yesterday. You want a clove cigarette? Get some tobacco, buy some cloves and make your own."

The customer settles on a pack of American Spirits instead. To get them, Rick reaches past several empty racks that used to hold packs of cloves.

The flavored cigarette ban is the first major crackdown under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which went into effect June 22 and gave the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate the $96 billion tobacco industry.

"These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers," said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA, in her announcement of the ban.

By January, the FDA will require cigarette companies to list all additives on their packaging, and by next June, they will be forbidden to use phrases like "light" , "low" or "mild".

HSB still stocks flavored cigars, cigarillos and pipe tobacco as well as herbal and menthol cigarettes, but the FDA promises to start investigating those as well.