FDA Ban on Clove Cigarettes and Cigars

I was reading The Wall Street Journal® To the FDA, This Indonesian Smoke Is Close but No Cigar about a ban by the FDA on clove based smoking products. I don’t smoke, but I do occasionally like to have one. I must admit it has been a long time since I have had one.

As noted in the article, menthol is not banned by the FDA because lawmakers thought there would be a large bootlegging operation that would occur since it is a popular flavor for tobacco. The ban was in large part due to a belief that flavorings were being used as an attractant to children to induce them to smoke. Based on the recently exposed information about tobacco companies, this is likely true.

Clove and tobacco, “Kretek”, have been a combination in Indonesia since the 1880s. In recent years, well maybe not so recent (my childhood), it was considered fashionable to smoke clove cigarettes. The fascination and fad have long since passed. When I see them like Matt Eden in the article, I do fancy one. The wonderful scent that fills the air and the crackle are enticing.

I hope that the FDA will reconsider the ban on them and make them like any other tobacco product.

Then I too can be reminded of my days in Bali, Indonesia.