Clove-Flavored Cigarettes More Dangerous?

"It's pretty outrageous to leave menthol off the list," Glantz added. "Menthol is very important to the tobacco industry; evidenced by the fact that Phillip Morris recently introduced a new menthol Marlboro." The FDA, however, is reportedly looking into ways to expand the ban to include menthol.

Cigarette retailer lobbying groups say the ban is unfair. They claim that selling any kind of cigarettes to minors -- flavored or regular -- is already illegal in most states, making the outright ban of flavored cigarettes unreasonable.

"It is not our goal to attract underage youth to our stores," Mary Szarmach, a tobacco retailer and also the vice president of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, told an FDA listening session before the ban was announced. "Rather, our customer base consists of adults who enjoy buying and consuming tobacco products."

Kretek International Inc., the largest importer of clove cigarettes in the U.S., filed suit against the FDA. The company claims that the regulator is causing it to lose money.

As for Bell, the end of flavored cigarettes leaves him conflicted.

"Clearly, I have mixed feelings [on the ban]. Of course, I know smoking's bad, but I do it. I know the reason that they're banning it [flavored cigarettes] is to prevent more people from starting to smoke altogether. But at the same time, cloves are good, and I wish I could still buy them."

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