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Cigar Rant – Banning Flavored Cigars

Pretty much every time I search “cigars” on Google news, I come across at least one or two articles crying out for a ban on flavored tobacco products. Every one of these articles has the exact same pitch—that they’re marketed towards kids, and that if they were banned, underage smoking would drop significantly. Every time I read one of these articles, my body temperature goes up a few degrees and I have to resist the urge to punch a hole in the computer monitor.

Some of the authors of these articles point to the kids’ ignorance as the reason they’re using tobacco products. Many say that the kids are unaware of the potential adverse health effects of cigars versus those of cigarettes. Tell me, with anti-smoking TV ads, lessons in health class, and the federally-mandated warning labels on all tobacco products, how the hell can someone not understand the risks associated with smoking ANY tobacco product?

In reference to age-restricted products, if one thing has been proven time and time again, it’s that the more forbidden something becomes, the more young people want to take part in it—just look at underage drinking. The bottom line is that it’s not the tobacco companies’, or the local, state, or federal governments’ responsibility to keep minors from using a product that’s legal for anyone over the age of 18. I believe that responsibility falls solely on the parents and/or guardians kids, who, instead of rallying for an absolute ban on a perfectly legal product, should make an effort to make sure their kids aren’t using it.

I’m sick and tired of hearing people (most of whom I assume are parents) cry out for the nanny state to lock up another product that is, let me reiterate, COMPLETELY LEGAL when used by adults. And unfortunately, these underage smoking statistics are just the kind of things the FDA could latch onto and use as an argument to regulate the cigar industry. In the meantime, all we can do is contact our senators and representatives (I have, and you should too!) and make damn sure that H.R. 1639 and S. 1461 go through. I hate to end the week on such a negative note, and I know I’m pretty much preaching to the choir here, but I think something had to be said.

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