May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Monday, October 26, 2009


What does the clove cigarette ban tell us?

From the FDA's website:
On September 22, 2009 a ban on cigarettes containing certain characterizing flavors went into effect. The ban, authorized by the new Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, is part of a national effort by FDA to reduce smoking in America.

According to the act

…a cigarette or any of its component parts (including the tobacco, filter, or paper) shall not contain, as a constituent (including a smoke constituent) or additive, an artificial or natural flavor (other than tobacco or menthol) or an herb or spice, including strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon, pineapple, vanilla, coconut, licorice, cocoa, chocolate, cherry, or coffee, that is a characterizing flavor of the tobacco product or tobacco smoke

In short, it's not illegal to possess them, but it is illegal to sell them. However, you can't get them anymore because nobody's able to sell. It's supposedly to keep kids from starting smoking. That lie is so easy to see through, because this legislation was supported by Philip Morris, an American cigarette manufacturer.
This is about US tobacco companies getting a stronger hold on the US tobacco market, by literally making the competition illegal. In fact, if you look closely, you'll note that this legislation goes against legislation in the WTO agreement that the US signed onto.

This is remarkably similar to the conspiracy of the corporate power grab against industrial hemp, except this one is obvious and right in front of us. It's hard to say where the industrial hemp suppression originally came from, but at this stage, it's obvious that it should no longer be suppressed (for environmental and economic reasons). The main reasons now for not legalizing industrial hemp are:
Compare the complexities regarding the illegality of hemp and marijuana to the simple change of making clove cigarettes illegal. The former two remain illegal because of the ability to wield a continuance of economic and social power (including the drug war's value as a tool for perpetuating a powerful institutional form of racism), and the latter is simply a bald-faced power-grab by the corporations who have the most to gain, though considering how many menthol cigarette cartons I've seen in downtown Oakland, one could build an argument that race and class play a factor in the cigarette policies as well.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

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