The tobacco companies who used produced clove cigarettes recently banned by the FDA with other flavored cigarettes (as they are spice-flavored) found a way to save their profits. Shortly after the latest regulation had entered into force, importers and manufacturers of clove cigarettes introduced their new products – small cigars, resembling cigarettes in size and having cherry, vanilla and clove flavors. The cigars are labeled as manufactured totally by had.
For instance, the major importer of clove cigarettes, Kretek International Inc., stared to sell clove tobacco products under Djarum brand. These tobacco products are made in Indonesia and comply with the new FDA ordinances. However, anti-tobacco groups immediately began claiming that the company was simply trying to flout federal regulations that prohibited all flavors in cigarettes excluding menthol, mint and wintergreen. According to public health groups flavored cigarettes had attracted adolescent into taking up smoking, so they secured the ban on these cigarettes, that became valid on September, 22.
Nevertheless, the ban does not cover other flavored tobacco products, including cigars, since they vary from cigarettes. As regards cigars, they are wrapped in tobacco leaves, while cigarettes are usually wrapped in special paper. In addition, cigars are produced from a different sort of tobacco, but their ultimate taste resembles that of cigarettes. Small cigars are packed by 12 per pack, and are selling for half the cost of average pack of 20 cigarettes. And last, but not least, while smoking cigarettes is widely considered a nasty habit, cigar smoking is regarded as an essential part of American culture and history.
The ban on the flavored cigarettes is the first implemented provision of Tobacco Control Act, adopted by the Congress and President Obama back in June. The Act provides the US food and Drug Administration sweeping powers to regulate tobacco. Although the Agency is not able to outlaw tobacco products completely, it can prohibit tobacco products like flavored smokeless products and cigars. However, that will not happen in the nearest future.
Amanda Stewart, regional director of an anti-smoking organization states that no matter if the cigars indeed differ from cigarettes or simply are a loophole for tobacco companies to keep selling flavored products under new labels, the FDA should act instantly to ban these products for the sake of children.
Experts name clove cigarettes as the major victim of flavored cigarettes ban, since while the chocolate and apple-flavored cigarettes manufactured by tobacco giants could attract minors into smoking, these spice-flavored cigs were definitely not popular among teens, as they have a rather peculiar taste.
James Davis, Kretek International’s brand development director admitted that the company has suffered from the ban since clove cigarettes had an approximately 1 percent share in the US tobacco market, while other tobacco products containing clove have been more popular among US smokers. He added that those smokers, who preferred clove cigarettes had to switch to other clove products, stoke up for their favorite cigarettes before the implementation of the ban or surf the web to order them.
Recent surveys showed that percentage of cigar smoker has been on the rise during the last couple of years, since smokers turn to cigars because of pleasant prices, large variety of flavors, and high quality.