It’s time to stock up on those sweet, sweet cloves. Thanks to new regulation passed by the Food and Drug Administration, flavored cigarettes are to be pulled from the nation’s shelves.
But don’t worry — your menthols are safe (at least for now).
In prohibiting the equivalent of the training wheels to a nicotine-tinged life and hacking death, the FDA hopes to curb the number of kids who start smoking in the first place. “These flavored cigarettes are a gateway for many children and young adults to become regular smokers,” said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg in a press release. And it may be flavored cigarettes that are helping their habits along; 17-year old smokers are more likely to smoke flavored cigarettes than than smokers over 25, according to the FDA.
Continued after the jump.
It’s hard to argue with the FDA’s reasoning: After all, as you stand hunched in the doorway of the SciLi clutching your pack of American Spirits, surely you remember your first, nervous drag on a sexy clove cigarette.
Of course, the tobacco industry is fighting back, arguing that, for example, Black & Milds (tiny cigars (cigarillos, for those in the know) (picture a young Clint Eastwood in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”)) are not actually cigarettes. And who knows—Big Tobacco may be able to win. The President, after all, is known to take a puff or two, and the tobacco industry isn’t known for being weak-willed.
What does this mean for Brown students? A generation of kids weaned from peach-flavored fags onto Marlboro Reds will count their blessings. They’ll coach the newcomers to the scene, teaching not only how to embrace an existential and early death, but also how to choose among cocaine-ready Parliaments and lady-pleasing Marlboro Lights. There will be new cleverness in giving blunts that hint of strawberry that blends so well with medical-grade marijuana.
And maybe there will be fewer smokers on College Hill next year. But the renovated Faunce steps will quickly fix that.