Those of you who are lucky enough not to be employed selling vice products to the American public probably aren't aware of this, but after September 22nd it became illegal to sell clove or flavored cigarettes. It isn't illegal to own them, so if you stocked up smoke away; but we can't sell them to you.
At first I thought the ban was kind of funny because I knew it would piss off smug hipsters who drink shitty beer like Pabst to "save money" but have no problem paying outrageous prices for cloves. At work, they'd stroll up to the front counter with their skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts and ask for Djarum Black, the Official Clove Cigarette of Baseless Pretension. Look at it! It's black, like their wardrobe and souls!
But then I found out that Phillip Morris Tobacco is a major supporter of the ban. Hmmm...that seems odd. Why would a cigarette company support the ban of cigarettes? Perhaps because Phillip Morris isn't in the clove/flavored business? And by supporting a ban "because flavored cigarettes target kids," Phillip Morris looks like good guys instead of the soulless cancer merchants they actually are? Yes and yes.
Oh, here's another little wrinkle to the ban. There's an exemption for menthol cigarettes. Yeah, apparently menthol isn't a flavor. Nope, not a flavor, move along, nothing to see here. Cherry? Totally a flavor. Infants want to smoke cherry cigs before they can fucking walk! But mint (which is what menthol is)? Not appealing to kids at all.
So the federal government banned two products that account for less than two percent of cigarette sales. But menthol, which studies say is favored by eighty percent of black teenagers who smoke, is still perfectly legal.
And while we're at it, isn't "regular" a flavor, too? There aren't any flavorless cigarettes. And no, I'm not saying all cigarettes should be banned. I'm just saying a little consistency would be nice. Or at least try to hide the outright hypocrisy.