General Question

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

What do you think of the ban on "flavored" cigarettes in this new anti-tobacco law in the works?

Asked by FrankHebusSmith (4319points) June 12th, 2009

For the most part I find myself in agreement with this new bill in congress at the moment. Bigger warnings, more adult only sales restrictions, lose the mild/light BS, harder for kids to get them, etc. Those are all great ideas.

But the flavor ban, I don’t know about. It will effectively outlaw cigarettes or tobacco products that are flavored (such as black and milds, or cloves, or “fruit” flavored).

Now I personally do not consider myself a smoker. I have A pack of cloves on hand usually, and over the course of 2 or 3 months I’ll smoke them when at parties or if I’m having a rough rough day (and in fact I tend to give away half of the pack to other people anyways). I know fully well the dangers associated with smoking, and I still choose too on occasion. I don’t think that these laws against flavors are justified (especially since it will remove the only non-cigar smoking I do).

Furthermore, I don’t honestly think this will have any effect on preventing child smokers (which is what it’s aimed at avoiding by removing “candy flavored” cigarettes).


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64 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar

I think we set a dangerous precedent every time we allow the government to regulate what we do to our own bodies.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Will it have any effect on child smokers? Fuck no lol. Kids will smoke nasty unfilitered camels if thats all thats availible. They really dont care, theyre just doing for the thrill of smoking.

I also think its bullshit to take these things away from legal adults because the government is failing in keeping them out of the hands of kids.

i lurve my djarum blacks :)

Blondesjon's avatar

@uberbatman . . .I started on my dad’s nasty, unfiltered camels.

El_Cadejo's avatar

damn im good lol

tinyfaery's avatar

I do not smoke (anymore), but I am 100% against this bill. If people want to smoke they should be able to, no matter the flavor. The only thing that might stop underage smoking is parental involvement in their children’s lives. But once a kid hits a certain age, there really isn’t a lot a parent can do to deter certain behaviors.

I think that at this point everyone knows smoking can kill you. Informed decisions should not be made illegal.

Blondesjon's avatar

@tinyfaery . . .I agree 100%. GA.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Well let me clarify, I’m not against the ENTIRE bill. JUST the flavor part. (the flavor thing is a sub-section of the overall bill).

DominicX's avatar

Personally, I don’t care. It doesn’t sound to me like flavored cigarettes are going to encourage people to smoke. If people want to smoke, they can go ahead. It’s their funeral. I just don’t want to see ads for it aimed at kids like they used to have back in the good ol’ days. My mom says that in those days, instead of handing out Gideon’s bibles outside schools, they would hand out cigarette packs…oh mercy

And I can’t believe teenagers still smoke cigarettes. Cigarettes are so passé. It’s all about weed. :)

However, I will say that if flavored cigarettes do encourage kids to smoke, then people should be doing all they can to prevent kids from smoking.

Ivan's avatar


I suppose you think there should be no restriction on heroine use then either.

jackfright's avatar

I’m not sure i see the logic behind this.
Tobacco does the damage, not the flavouring.

i’m a heavy smoker

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Tobacco is a deadly and addictive product and should be banned outright. In a nation that outlaws drugs for the same reason, it seems very contrary.

The nation will be extremely grumpy for a few weeks but we’ll get over it and be healthier for it.

I don’t expect this to happen realistically.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Ivan . . .If you haven’t used them both, you shouldn’t be able to use that argument.

oratio's avatar

I think it sounds misguided,. Personally I think advertising for a product that in the long run makes you sick and shortens your life should be heavy regulated, if not banned. Why let them encourage people to start smoking? It’s bad enough that kids take after the parents. They don’t need a society telling them that it’s dangerous, while advertising tells them it’s not.

Blondesjon's avatar

@oratio . . .I agree completely. The only thing I don’t agree with is when the government tries to tell me that I am not allowed to do it.

That is where I draw the line.

oratio's avatar

@Blondesjon I agree. Then again, it somewhat resembles the discussion about the seat belt law. Should the government decide that, or I?

Blondesjon's avatar

@oratio . . .I don’t think the government needs to make any decisions that I am quite capable of making myself.

oratio's avatar

@Blondesjon I agree. Though I have a problem with the liberal gun laws, but that is another discussion. (...that we’ve had already)

Blondesjon's avatar

@oratio . . .lol. pepsi

tyrantxseries's avatar

I have a crazy idea: how about the parents look after their F#@!$& kids*
Every time I turn around a new bullshit anti-tobacco law pops up, (we need a big warning sign on the packs to scare the kids, we need to hide the packs in the store so the kids can’t see the pretty colored packs, can’t have any ads about smoking) plus the thousands of little BS Bylaws.
don’t forget to outlaw fast food/alcohol/cars/buses/and anything that has a good chance of shortening your or your kids life

whatthefluther's avatar

Its bullshit. I guess now I’m going to have to grow my own tobacco. When will the madness end? Soon we will have no rights or personal choice. Clean up your existing, self-made crap before you try to regulate me more…you will not win (unless your idea of winning is being able to call me a criminal).

Dog's avatar

WTF? I have a pack of vanilla dreams in the safe along with a bottle of grey goose. It is my emergency survival kit.

Who are they to want to dictate the contents of my personal safe?

If I sound pissed off it is because I am. This is the first I have heard of this.

Before anyone wants to remind me that it is “in my best interest” I want to state that I have had the same pack for over a month.

It is just so out there that a government that is in a major recession is taking the time to try to parent me- an adult.

Why can’t they mind their own business and make cars?

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Ok so popular opinion seems to be against the flavor ban….. soooo, maybe we should do something about it?

Spread the word, call a congressmen. DO SOMETHING.

YARNLADY's avatar

Once again, people are getting their priorities backwards. If more people would exercise personal responsibility, there would never be any need for a law like this. Freedom has to be earned.

Jeruba's avatar

It does matter to me if my access to health care is denied or curtailed by insurance companies who set restrictions on what services health care providers can be reimbursed for, or to what maximum in a month, and what tests and treatments they can order, and hence limit what they can offer to me, on account of the huge payouts they have to make to save people from the natural and predictable consequences of their free adult decisions.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@Jeruba I think you missed the point of this. We’re simply saying that banning the flavors is stupid here. And besides, if you think smoking is the problem with health care, or even a significant part of the problem, you gotta read up some. Smoking is WAY worse of a problem in Europe, and their healthcare is miles beyond ours (in cost AND effectiveness).

fundevogel's avatar

Personally the whole thing sounds silly to me. Cigarettes are already ridiculously regulated, none of the things mentioned by the law would do anything more to prevent kids from getting cigarettes or increase their knowledge of their danger. We’re already maxed out on both. At this point they’re just interfering with adults’ god-given right to do inhale a pleasant poison, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. And they’ve already outlined in great detail every way smoking can harm someone else.

The government doesn’t care about the pleasant poisons I drink (responsibly), why should they care about someone else’s cigarettes? After all, if I really tried, I could actually drink myself to death in one night, but it takes years to kill yourself with cigarettes.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

the anti-smoking nazis have been trying to get tobacco regulated by the same government organization that allows certain pharmaceuticals to be sold that kill people, so I guess it’s just a part of the plan for the government to babysit us. The Food and Drug Agency regulated that pain med that caused quite a few deaths, and now they are going to regulate ciggies and ALL other tobacco products.

When the world is made completely safe for everyone, and the playgrounds have all been child-proofed, who we gonna blame when someone has an accident and dies?

fundevogel's avatar

Expletive! We might actually have to take personal responsibility for our actions!

Ivan's avatar


The government does in fact regulate your usage of alcohol. Besides, alcohol does not emit ‘second-hand booze’ which is more deadly than the drink itself. Moreover, you’ll have to show me the document in which this…

“adults’ god-given right to do inhale a pleasant poison, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.”

…is printed.

fundevogel's avatar

@Ivan – On come on, the only time a dilute form of a substance is more potent than the undilute substance is with new age scam-artistry, where they treat ills with only the most dilute substance, water.

If second hand smoke were more deadly than smoke, or even as deadly as smoke, where all of the cases of lung cancer and emphazema rooted in second hand smoke? Is there even a single one? Children can develop asthma from living with a heavy smoker. And responsible parents should act accordingly to protect their children, but it kinda goes to show, if perpetually inhaling second hand smoke results in asthma, which, while not great is hardly lung cancer, do your really expect sitting in the smoking section a restaurant for an hour to have any significant danger?

In referring to God given rights, what I meant, jocularly, was that people’s actions aren’t meant to be micromanaged by their governments. Governments are here to keep things running smoothly, to maintain infrastructure and re-enforce basic standards of behavior, the one’s we all agree on, like that we shouldn’t kill puppies or eachother. It is not the government’s place to dictate morality or interfere with a persons ability to regulate their own body.

Nice one @tyrantxseries

Ivan's avatar


“Secondhand smoke causes about 3,400 deaths each year from lung cancer in non-smokers.”

“Secondhand smoke has been estimated to cause 46,000 (ranging from 22,700 to 69,600) deaths per year from heart disease in adult nonsmokers.”

American Lung Association

fundevogel's avatar

@Ivan Ok I didn’t know that, but 3,400 is still a faction of the total deaths from lung cancer per year (160,439), about 2%. And considering only one person can smoke a cigarette at a time, but countless people can breathe second hand smoke from a single cigarette there is a potential for greater number of secondhand smokers than actual smokers. But I would guess most people that are “second hand smokers” only rarely inhale smoke which would accomodate the significantly smaller rates of smoking related disease among them. The question that would need to be investigated to figure out if, as you claim, second hand smoke is more dangerous than smoking itself, is ‘is there any difference between the damage cause by inhaling the same amount of smoke smoking a cigarette or inhaling it second hand?’

Smokers inhale more smoke than secondhand smokers do, so they are getting a larger dose of poison for sure, but how could inhaling less of the same thing be more dangerous as you originally said?

Certainly how much second hand smoke is inhaled deserves research. In order for a second hand smoker to get lung cancer, wouldn’t they have to be inhaling quantities similar to smokers? This hardly makes second hand smoke more dangerous, but it could help pin down the point at what level smoking turns from an unhealthy situation to a deadly danger. Which would be interesting, though I doubt it would change anybody’s mind.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@Ivan, the study those numbers were taken from has been shown to be erroneous. The numbers were cooked. Funny how second hand smoke can kill passers by so blithely, yet I have to smoke and inhale cigarettes for at least thirty years to ever get lung cancer. I suppose if a passerby was standing right beside me for three decades, maybe he’d get lung cancer, but just by passing by. BS. Find out the REAL story here

Ivan's avatar

You are all missing the point. Whether it’s 3,400 people or 1 person or no people, it still harms others, and thus your argument is moot.

That’s a very unbiased and professional-looking site you’ve got there, Evelyn.

fundevogel's avatar

@Ivan You made allusions that second hand smoking was more dangerous than simply smoking. That’s what I was responding to.

And I think, as Evelyn pointed out, the non smokers with lung cancer are most likely married to smokers. That is a risk they have accepted living with, and if they don’t want that risk you would hope they would be able to work something mutually respectful out with their partner. Certainly whatever second hand smoking regulations the government has in place in public spaces won’t have a significant health impact on people who inhale second hand smoke at home, the ones that would actually be showing up with health problems.

Ivan's avatar

I guess we should change your rule then.

‘adults’ god-given right to do inhale a pleasant poison, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, unless it’s your spouse. Oh, and if it doesn’t hurt them very much, then that’s OK too.’

chyna's avatar

This just came to mind, it doesn’t reflect on anything really… Dana Reeves, Christopher Reeves wife, died of lung cancer and never smoked.

fundevogel's avatar

@Ivan You really don’t like smoking do you? I said that couples where one smokes and one doesn’t just need to work that out on their own, having the government meddling in their personal lives just shows an inability to accept that people can and should manage their own interpersonal relationships, whether or not smoking is involved.

Any how the government doesn’t do that, it attacks second hand smoking where it is a much lower risk, in the public realm where people are less likely to be as frequently exposed to it.

I’m curious, what restrictions do you think would be satisfactory to put on smokers? What accomplishments would you like to see made through smoking restrictions?

Ivan's avatar

I guess my previous comment is correct.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

Look my only beef is that they’re banning the god damned flavors. What the hells the point in that ? .... I don’t mind smoking outside away from non-smokers… I don’t mind added restrictions or small hoops to go through to get them… i don’t even mind the ridiculous taxes on them and all the advertising laws against them

But WHY ban flavor?

Ivan's avatar


Will the flavor ban cut down on the amount of cigarettes smoked?

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@Ivan Well unless I can buy cloves from the internet or something, I’m going to have to stop smoking them on special occasions.

But it’s kind of a moot point cuz I’ll probably just get purely cigars instead.

But in the overall, no, I highly doubt the flavor ban will cut down on cigarettes smoked to any significant degree. People that smoke, will still smoke, they’ll just go without flavor. The whole idea behind the flavor ban was that they don’t want the cigarette companies to market to children with “candy” flavors. Which, ok makes sense, but we’re not talking bubble gum here…. clove, black and milds, even strawberry to a degree, are not really flavors I would consider candy.

(furthermore, young kids don’t smoke for flavor, they smoke because they think it’s cool…. and they’re STILL going to do it, they’re just going to smoke whatever they can get their hands on, flavored or not).

fundevogel's avatar

@Ivan, I don’t know what rule you think I have that should be changed. I don’t remember mentioning any personal smoke related rule. So I don’t understand what you’re saying.

I know you’re a cognisant guy so can you please explain yourself.

My primary beef with the whole thing is I don’t think the government should dictate what people do with their bodies. When rational adults can’t maintain the autonomy over their own bodies I think there is something wrong.

If that is my “rule” you haven’t really given me any reason to change it.

Dog's avatar

One wonders if perhaps the enormous popularity of the new flavored cigarettes are beginning to cut into the profits of the big companies.

No- it is silly of me to think any large company might want to have the competitions product banned. Besides I am sure the tobacco industry has no influence in Washington.~

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@Dog You make a good point. I forget which major tobacco producer supported the bill, but it does stand to reason that if anything they will benefit from this bill because it removes their incoming competition from companies like Djarum (they make all kinds of cloves and such). The warnings and all that stuff are really just extensions of already present laws, but the flavor rule would remove their up and coming competition.

Ivan's avatar


Not one person will smoke less if the ban takes hold?


“I don’t think the government should dictate what people do with their bodies.”

That’s not what you said. You said the government shouldn’t dictate what people do with their bodies so long as it doesn’t harm other people.

fundevogel's avatar

Well if you choose to live with someone that smokes you are still dictating what happens to your body. That’s a personal choice. No one forces you to live with a smoker.

And as a personal matter its between the roomies, or spouses or lovers or whatever to work out.

Ivan's avatar

I’m just trying to clarify what this ‘god-given right’ is. So far, it’s your right to do whatever you want to your own body so long as it only harms the people who live with you. Anything else?

fundevogel's avatar

Gah! Dude I don’t even believe in God nor do I smoke.

I can accept that there is a risk element involved in second hand smoke, but when someone chooses to live with a smoker they are accepting that person and their habits. Nobody forces them to move in. That’s as much a choice as smoking is. If smoking is an issue then both people are responsible for working it out, not the government.

The whole point I was trying to make was that the people who risked the most from second hand smoke, chose a life style with increased risk. So when the government regulates secondhand smoke in the public sphere it will not have a significant effect on those 3,400 statistics you sited, which makes the regulations an ineffective means of decreasing people effected by secondhand smoke. And because the people at greatest risk chose a risk within the private of their own homes the government can’t do much to help them. And I doubt those people would want them to anyway.

You seem to think the government is obligated to babysit everyone, I think they can make their own choices. Maybe they’re not always the best choices, but that’s part of living in a free country, we’re allowed to make our own mistakes. And hopefully learn from them.

Ivan's avatar

I think that the government is obligated to protect its citizens.

fundevogel's avatar

It can’t protect them from themselves without undermining the freedom it is also obligated to protect.

chyna's avatar

@Ivan Doesn’t the government own the tobacco companies? They aren’t going to ban something they have high stakes in.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@fundevogel “when someone chooses to live with a smoker they are accepting that person and their habits. Nobody forces them to move in. That’s as much a choice as smoking is.”

What about their children? Could a smoker’s infant chose to move out?

we’re allowed to make our own mistakes. And hopefully learn from them.”

Sure, after 16–18 years of living with a smoker that child will probably have learned not to smoke around others. But that child could have some horrible lung malady by then

fundevogel's avatar

unfortunately there just isn’t a good solution when it comes to protecting children with smoking parents. Unless the parents themselves take steps to protect the children from secondhand smoke.

Removing children from smoking homes and placing them in foster care would cause more problems than it would solve. You can’t legistrate anyone’s ability to have children to prevent smokers from having them in the first place and I don’t see how you could ethically force someone to stop smoking, unless you outlawed it all together which isn’t realistic.

I’d be interested in you have any ideas that could realistically protect children in smoking homes.

Ivan's avatar

”‘adults’ god-given right to do inhale a pleasant poison, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, unless it’s your spouse or your children. Oh, and if it doesn’t hurt them very much, then that’s OK too.”

It keeps getting longer.

fundevogel's avatar

you’re drastically over simplfying things.

If you can think of solution that can be applied broadly without infringing on personal freedom, do tell. Otherwise it’s up to individuals to moderate their behavior.

Ivan's avatar


The government “infringes” upon your personal freedom constantly in ways that you either don’t notice or wholeheartedly support. This is less about whether freedoms should be limited and more about to what extent they should be limited.

So let’s weigh our options.

1) Do nothing.
This maximizes personal freedom, but results in a bunch of people dead, pollutes the atmosphere, gives a bunch of people asthma, and so on. You could make an argument that this “infringes” upon my right to go to a restaurant without being poisoned or infringes upon my right to grow up in a healthy environment if my parents smoke.

2) Restrict smoking.
This “infringes” upon personal freedom, but it saves the lives of thousands and thousands of people and allows non-smokers to live more freely.

And of course there are options in between.

fundevogel's avatar

Smoking is restricted so clearly we aren’t doing nothing, but the restrictions in the public sphere, where the government can impose restriction, won’t have significant effect on secondhand smokers in the private sphere where government restriction becomes intrusive.

Essentially, I don’t think that additional restrictions in the public sphere, like the ones referenced by questioner, will make any significant impact on health because the public sphere is already very regulated. It isn’t the Joe Blow on the street that is at risk, it’s Sally May in her home. If she’s an adult it’s her prerogative to live with that risk, and if she’s a minor the government can’t really do anything without taking extreme and intrusive action into the home life which could be just as damaging, if not more so than secondhand smoke.

As I said before, I would be interested if you could suggest an effective and realistic solution. But I don’t see the point in ineffective legislation which is what this looks like to me.

mrwhoopie's avatar

How can all you smokers afford this expensive habit? At what point do you say OK time to quit?

tyrantxseries's avatar

I only spend 40–50 dollers a week on smokes.
As soon as my heart rate goes to zero, I stop breathing, and I die, I’ll think about quitting (or at least cut back a little)

mrwhoopie's avatar

@tyrantxseries 40 – 50 a week sound crazy high to me but I don’t meen to tell anyone how to spend their money. As long as you are ejoying it more power to you.

tyrantxseries's avatar

not really that high, only 4–5 packs a week (usually 4 and a half)(some people smoke 1+ packs a day)
(I spend $100—$150 dollars in gas a week, $100—$120 in grocery’s a week, so smokes are pritty cheep compared to that)

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Manufactured “issues” such as this boggle my mind.


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