Public Health

Kids Today, With Their Briar Pipes and Fancy Cigars


Last week New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a ban on the sale of flavored toba

cco products that takes effect in February. This ordinance goes beyond the arbitrary, irrational federal ban on flavored cigarettes, since it also covers cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. As with the federal ban, the official rationale is that the newly prohibited products appeal to children. According to the Staten Island Advocate, "health experts say [flavored tobacco products] are a blatant attempt to hook young people on a dangerous product." Michele Bonan of the American Cancer Society calls them "Big Tobacco's training wheels," while Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) says banning them is necessary "to protect the children of New York City."

The rest of the city council evidently was swayed by this argument, since all but one member voted for the ban. Yet Bonan and Quinn have no idea what they're talking about, and they have no evidence to back up their bald assertions. Are they seriously maintaining that cherry-flavored pipe tobacco, which you may recall your grandfather smoking, is part of a plot to lure teenagers into nicotine addiction? Do they honestly believe that the kids today are into rum-flavored cigars, or that they are sneaking into Nat Sherman to score the latest offering from CAO or Drew Estate?

Like the federal ban, the New York City ban makes an exception for one kind of flavored tobacco product that really is widely consumed by teenagers: menthol cigarettes. And since selling tobacco to minors is already illegal (as the lone dissenter on the city council noted), the only sales that will be blocked by the ban will be sales to adults. Still, it's for the kids.

More on flavored tobacco products here.

 [via The Rest of the Story]

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  1. Yeah, I see lots of pre-teens smoking hookahs around these parts.

  2. To quote the late George Carlin:

    “FUCK the children! And that’s Mr. Engineer talkin’.”

  3. Those chocolate cigars are the worst — they make a hell of a mess when you try to light them.

  4. Yo, fuck New York City.

  5. Flavored cigars are for girls, but isn’t pretty much all pipe tobacco “flavored”?
    Once again, Bloomberg uses an atomic bomb to kill a fly.

    1. He’s rich, therefore he is way smarter than you are and is entitled to decide how you should live.

  6. Can kids these days still get candy cigarettes? Those were awesome.

    1. How the hell did THAT slip through the system? Time to break out the pitchforks and torches.

      1. No, no, torches are most environmentally unsound. So is hot tar.

        The best we can muster for malcontents any longer is organic hemp clothing that will irritate the wearer’s skin.

        1. a pitchfork is a deadly weapon. Those aren’t allowed.

  7. I especially liked the bubblegum cigarettes where you could blow the little puff of “smoke” out. One brand was actually called “Hey Man Cool”. I doubt those are around anymore.

    1. I still remember the taste. Oddly, I never became a cigarette smoker.
      They must have been defective.

      1. One of our neighbors gave out candy cigarettes for Halloween. I thought that was awesome.

        1. That is most awesome.

  8. For The Children?

  9. Michele Bonan of the American Cancer Society calls them “Big Tobacco’s training wheels,”

    Reason #462 why ACS will never see dime one from me. Fuck ’em.

    1. Oh they will… it’ll just be several of those dimes that are forceably removed from your paycheck by Uncle Scam and distributed to the teet-suckling scum of society.

  10. Have they banned blunts yet? Or is that method of pot smoking now so uncool that it’s not necessary?

    1. I think once you get past college age (and I didn’t really like them past high school) you get over it.

      Although I saw a douchey white boy pumping kanye in his benz hop out to buy a $1.50 dutch master. Buck-fifty for a fucking dutch master…*shakes head*

      1. Money doesn’t buy taste.

      2. Soooo nueveau-riche

        1. They can’t be too unpopular. I watched a guy split and roll one on the train two days ago.

          I should have asked him if it was flavored.

          1. Why not just buy a blunt wrap? Don’t have to split it, no mess (not that most blunt smokers seem to care about that)?

            1. I have no clue. I’m not in the habit of asking wanna-be gangsters (or he could have been a true gangster) why they choose to use a cigar and not just buy a wrap. Especially on the train, passing through the ghetto.

              1. there are many reasons, but the main reason to buy a blunt, and not just a wrap, is that smoking marijuana with tobacco makes for what some would call synergistic effects. not that i’d know.

      3. From what ive been told, Dutchmasters burn slower then wraps and papers. With a paper you gotta wet it every hit or it will burn super fast. Wraps don’t go as fast but a Dutchmaster with a leaf will burn for a good 40 minutes if you keep it wet and don’t lung it. Then again this is all what i have been told.

  11. Anyway, an Orlando building is in lockdown. Another shooter. Frustrated cigarette smoker who was forced outside one too many times, no doubt.

    1. If they had been more respectful of his background and not made fun of his smoking, none of this would have happened.

      1. Everybody missed the warning signs. He was a quiet man, but prone to coughing fits. And once he took an unexplained trip to Raleigh.

  12. So the fear is, in part (to account for the ordinance’s coverage), that an adult will buy non-mint flavored snuff in NYC, and give it to a local child, who will then get hooked on nicotine and switch to cigarets?

  13. Still, it’s for the kids.

    No, Jacob. It’s to curb the products that compete with menthol cigarrettes.

    However thinks that government bans are intended to protect children or the public, is living in a dreamland.

    1. Time to recalibrate your sarcasmometer, Mexicano Viejo.

  14. Flavored pot.

    Now there’s a growth industry.

    1. Tastes just fine the way it is.

    2. I’m trying to expand the market and hook the 8-12 demographic. Not the old pot smokers.

      1. Go talk to ACORN.

  15. Another shooter. Frustrated cigarette smoker who was forced outside one too many times, no doubt.

    The next time you hear somebody say, “I’d rather fight than switch,” head for the nearest exit.

  16. Who the fuck comes up with this shit. My first smoke was a Marlboro, and my first brand was Newports (don’t laugh fuck faces). Teenagers don’t go looking for a pipe and some cherry flavored Capt. Black.

    So are hookah bars officially done for? They were the last few places you could actually smoke and drink in the same place here.

    1. I’d imagine that the city’s and the state’s heavy tax on cigarettes has something to do with this. Perhaps the margins on pipe tobacco weren’t as much as conventional cigs, so now they’re getting rid of conventional Sherlock Holmes pipe tobacco so that all those pipe-smokers will switch over to simple cigarettes and the city/state will generate more revenue.

      When they say it’s for the kids, the first thing I look for is the impact upon revenue stream.

    2. Chesterfield straights. Stole them from the old man. My gateway to weed.

    3. I was 11 and my first cigarette was a Marlboro red. I smoked them off and on into my teens until I discovered weed. The only cigarettes I’ve smoked since then have been Djarum’s Black cloves. I still enjoy them a few times a year. Well, I did.

      1. I started out on Marlboro reds too. Smoked about a pack and a half every two or so days, till I was 18. Whilst sampling less legal herbal types too. Then a friend introduced me to Djarum Blacks. Loved them instantly, go through a pack a week. Until I heard about the ban on them. Perfect situation too. Just finished my pack, was having a bad day, walked across the street to buy one from the gas station, was told they were now illegal to sell in the US and that they had already sold out. Nedless to say my jaw hit the floor and I didn’t smoke again for 10-15 business days waiting on my shipment from indonesia. Got two cartons for 64$ (shipping and handling included). Where it used to cost me around 58$ to buy them at the gass station. I’d say the bans just make us go to outside sources and spend money elsewhere. Also, I’m one of those “I’d kill ya for that last clove” type of guys.

      2. Google “Kretek.” You can get them online from Indonesia for the time being. Shhhh

  17. an Orlando building is in lockdown

    It looks like an disgruntled ex-employee. Eight people shot, two in critical condition.

    They don’t know if he left the building, or is still in hiding there.

  18. Damn it, and I just started enjoying Skoal Peach Blend.

    1. You must be underage then

  19. Several witnesses claim to have heard him shout “Marlboro Menthol!” when he started shooting.

  20. Reports say the FBI was monitoring him after he made several posts on message boards downplaying the dangers of second hand smoke.

    1. monitering? In would’ve thought he’d have been shipped to Gitmo already for something like that or raising questions about the effect of solar flares on global atmospheric temperature changes.

  21. Menthols aren’t banned because that is part of the secret plot to kill the black people.

    Remember when some congress thingy said that the non-inclusion of menthol in the federal ban was racist because blacks tend to favor menthol cigs?

  22. But can we still buy flavored condoms?

    1. No, those will be distributed in your local elementary school free of charge.

      1. Yay!

  23. This ban makes perfect sense, since it’s widely known that only children enjoy flavor.

    Also, thanks for the link to the candy cigarettes, ed. Trick-or-treaters will be getting them when they come to my door next Holloween.

    1. Why wait a whole year? Aren’t there any playgrounds nearby?

      1. Something tells me handing out cigarette clones in a drug free zone is at least B felony.

    2. What a splendid idea. I have bookmarked the page. Thanks!

      1. It really is nefarious, if not wickedly subversive.

  24. And since selling tobacco to minors is already illegal (as the lone dissenter on the city council noted), the only sales that will be blocked by the ban will be sales to adults. Still, it’s for the kids.

    This is a specious argument. If it’s illegal to sell these things AT ALL, they won’t be in the corner convenience store. And it’s going to be much more difficult for kids to get them in that case, than if the only thing standing between them and their flavored tobacco is a convenience store cashier’s love for his job.

    1. Though you are somewhat correct in your pointing out the specious argument, the logical extention of your argument is specious in itself: If age restrictions are not sufficient to prevent the underage from getting tobacco, then there is no purpose whatsoever in age restrictions and we should outright ban everything that is currently subject to age verification such as alcohol, pornography, nicotene patches, cigarettes, bongs, tattoos, piercings, and of course, contracts based on informed consent. Sounds like a pretty efficient means of organizing society.

      1. If age restrictions are not sufficient to prevent the underage from getting tobacco, then there is no purpose whatsoever in age restrictions

        That’s not so. Age restrictions on flavored tobacco would make it more difficult for underage people to get it, but outright bans on flavored tobacco make it even more difficult than mere age restrictions would. It’s a matter of degree.

        The question, ultimately, is how much we value minimizing teen smoking vs. how much we value the convenience of adult smokers.

        1. Why should an adult who enjoys flavored tobacco be denied his pleasure on the mere possibility a minor might illegally obtain some?

  25. Ah, for the good old days, when whether or not a kid smoked was nobody’s fucking business but the kid and his parents.

    Remember that? When parents raised their own kids, and the nannying busybodies were confined to gossiping?

    1. Distant memory.

    2. Yep, the good old days like the mid 80’s when high schools like ours had a smoking section.

      1. Mine did too.

        I was talking to someone not that long ago about how our parents would be criminals today, and how things we didn’t think twice about would now bring out LEOs in force.

      2. Smoking sections were introduced in my high school in Delaware in the mid-70s, though political correctness later closed them. For us non-smokers it was great – it meant that kids didn’t have to do their smoking in the bathrooms, so the rest of us could breathe, and cigarette butts and stale smoke smell were mostly limited to the smoking areas instead of every outside doorway.

  26. In a hookah, isn’t it the water that’s flavored and not the actual tobacco?


    1. Nah, it’s the little tobacco charcoal or shisha that’s flavored.

    2. No, the tobacco is generally flavored in hookah/shisha smoking.

      1. I think honey is a common flavor. And hey, kids love honey.

    3. Huh, well how bout that…

      1. You need to get down to Chauncey Hill and hit the Hookah Lounge, get educated.

  27. Nope. No slippery slope here. Just us cra-zee libertarians.

    I second Bloomberg = fuckface.

  28. Just learned that Big Government has Friday Funnies too:

    1. While ugly to begin with, the cartoonist makes Pelosi look like one of those high-gravity slave midgets from Phantasm.

      I approve.

      1. Consume and digest this, Nancy.

      2. I simply cannot agree with the use of Uncle Scam, the propogandistic image used by Woody Wilson to sell his imperialistic war-machine, income tax, and federal reserve system, as the voice of reason or even slight doubt. Uncle Scam should be depicted as the reptilian fanged monster with the blood of innocents dripping from his vile mouth conspiring with Pelosi, Reed, et al in subjugating the American populace. Think ‘Saturn Devouring her Children’ by Goya

  29. No slippery slope here.

    Place frog in pan of cool water, over a low flame.

    Slowly bring to boil.

    Season to taste.

    1. Friend of a friend of my brother’s tried that. The frog wasn’t stupid, and hopped away.

  30. But somewhere… SOMEWHERE there’s a ‘former official’ who’s going to tell us that the drug war isn’t working.

    Meter’s still runnin’ on my bet.

    1. Somewhere there is a former official telling us that. But that’s part of the problem, for the most part, it’s only former officials.

  31. Remember when all we needed was a president who smoked dope, and all this ‘drug war business’ would finally be put to rest? Remember? Hmmmmm? Remember?

    Do you member? I member…

    1. Hey, we elected Al Gore, who was a big dope smoker when young; too bad the Republican vote counters were using New Math… Meanwhile, they say that Obama’s back to chain smoking tobacco.

  32. Fuck the babyboomers and their 60’s authoritarian bullshit.

  33. Just an FYI: they captured the main suspect in the Orlando shootings.

    1. Was god talking to him like Fort Hood’s Hasan?

      1. Video @ 6. We’ll find out then.

  34. New York City ban makes an exception for one kind of flavored tobacco product that really is widely consumed by teenagers: menthol cigarettes.

    Black people smoke menthols. Why does Bloomberg hate black people?

  35. Remember when all we needed was a president who smoked dope, and all this ‘drug war business’ would finally be put to rest?

    Considering the previous 2 presidents to this election used illegal drugs, anyone who believed that was deluding themselves. Anyone who believed that Obama would change things should have listened to his Berlin speech, where he compared people who sell un-approved-of plants and their alkaloids to terrorists.

    1. “Anyone who believed that Obama would change things should have listened to his Berlin speech”

      Ich bin ein beginner.


  36. You know, some people in the brewing community think that you’re paranoid if you suggest that government intrusion might somehow restrict your freedom to drink, but seriously, how long until somebody wants to ban Bell’s Cherry Stout and New Glarus Raspberry Tart? Hell, certain states have already banned beer such as Santa’s Butt for being too appealing to children. I’m just glad that, as a homebrewer, the TTB doesn’t have jurisdiction to keep me from brewing my Cocoa Puffs Stout.

    1. Make a trix lager and adorn it with a label saying, “silly adults, trix lagers are for kids.”

    2. Isn’t that always an issue when something like Zima or St. Ide’s Special Brew comes out?

      Not that I would recommend either product.

  37. ClubMedSux: If they ban hard cider, I’m joining a militia. I mean, too much is too much.

    1. So if they ban hard cider, will they start keeping fresh apple cider behind the counter and make you fill out a form to purchase any?

      1. They will, and when that doesn’t work, they’ll ban the sale of apples altogether.

        Then, when people start making faux-cider from sugar and fake apple flavor, they’ll crack down on those.

        1. There was a great piece on horticulture on PBS last week entitled “The Botany of Desire”. It studied the development of Potatoes, Tulips, Apples and Weed. It said that by far the plant getting the most advanced scientific engineering was weed.

          It also drew comparisons between the history of apple cider (hard) and weed vis-a-vis social intolerence.

          Watch it here:

          1. Thx, Gobbler. I’ll check that out later, after a few Strongbows.

  38. why dont you ask bill clinton what flavor cigar he smokes?

    New York City=Nazi Germany

    1. Monica flavored?

  39. Paul|11.6.09 @ 2:23PM|#
    Fuck the babyboomers and their 60’s authoritarian bullshit.

    Perhaps your dismay is misplaced, Paul.

    Note the overwhelming majority party affiliation.

    1. Looks like a bunch of authoritarians to me, except for maybe “Seat Currently Vacant” in the 10th district. He might be my favorite politician.

    2. Ed, I’m confused by your statement. Seriously… this is precisely what I’d expect.

      1. Not all baby boomers are Democrats. I’d bet that a Republican city council would not forward such an atrocity to their mayor.

  40. At least now that the FDA regulates cigarettes, we can all breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they’re “safe and effective”

    1. I thought cigarette companies were prohibited from printing “FDA approved” on the labels. You know, because that might communicate that the FDA was, um, controlling it. Huh.

  41. Just an FYI: they captured the main suspect in the Orlando shootings.

    It happened at another engineering firm. Some of the people at my firm know the guy. And for all I know some of the victims but I don’t want to go there, too much emotion.

    1. Isaac: you, and they, have my sympathies.

      1. Baked, I don’t actually know anyone involved.

        There’s a little damage control going on here since we’ve had layoffs in the last year too.

        I was just told the guy was laid off by Reynolds, Smith and Hills a year ago. Sounds like he’s been stewing in his resentment for a long time.

        Other than that I know nothing more than what the rumor millmedia is churning out.

  42. The only connection I have is that I know a few people from Travelers Insurance who used to work at the building.

    I’ve heard them say six were wounded, one died. Nothing to be happy about, but it could have been much worse.

  43. As a 34 year old pipe smoker, I can assure you the kids are not rushing out to smoke Capt Black White or MacBaren Vanilla. Everyone knows Prince Albert is where it’s at.

  44. Prince Albert means something very different these days.

  45. Prince Albert in the can, is a totally different joke than when I was a kid.

  46. One whole exception for menthols thing: what a perfect illustration of the inevitable dead-end that identity politics will lead you into.

    So, the premise is that menthol cigarettes are used by/preferred by black folk. Thus, you have two choices.

    (1) Outlaw them as a flavored tobacco, thus outlawing the preferred smoke of the Downtrodden Black Man. Racist!

    (2) Don’t outlaw them, thus facilitating the continued exploitation by cigarette companies, and hastening the death of, the Downtrodden Black Man. Racist!

  47. Tinseltown’s Mayor Tuttifrutti has long flavored the smoke-free back room air of City Hall by having his executive chef burn bacon indoors to garnish his charred peanut butter sandwiches.

    Who put the training wheels on this tinpot totalitarian’s hobby horse ?

  48. Yeah, Fuck NYC and Bloomberg.
    All pipe tobacco seems to be flavored.
    I would buy it off the internet or go outside the city to stock up, if I lived there.

    1. It would be easy. NJ, Long Island, Westchester, are relatively short train rides away.

  49. Regarding hookah bars:

    “Introductory number 433-A would ban the sale of tobacco products with characterizing flavors, except for menthol, mint, or wintergreen, in any *location other than a tobacco bar.*”

    So it seems those, at least, are safe.

    1. But you can’t have a Hookah at home, apparantly. You have to go to a Hookah lounge to smoke falvored hookah tobacco.

      1. Having lived in New York, most people don’t buy hookah tobacco from local vendors anyway, it’s better to buy in bulk by mail, and I doubt they’d bother checking that (hope at least).

        Not saying this is good news, it’s still stupid and insane.

  50. does anyone know if the federal ban on flavored cigarettes extends to the posession of said items? or is it just a sales/ transaction thing?

    1. From what I’ve seen in the ban of my Djarum Blacks, it’s just ban to sell. Woot woot foreign trade!

      1. Djarum Blacks are exactly what I had in mind. Excellent taste.

  51. How long until marijuana is legal and tobacco is illegal?

    1. Way too long, of course 🙂 Here in California, when they banned smoking inside back in the 90s, rock concert venues like the Fillmore were just as smoky as they’d ever been, but almost none of it was that nasty tobacco stuff. And that was fine, because it was a public-health law, not a fire prevention law.

  52. Shisha (used in hookah pipes( isnt tobacco and doesnt count under tobacco laws.

    1. I’m… pretty sure that shisha is a mix of molasses and tobacco… in fact I’m 100% sure of it.

      1. It’s a molasses and fruit/spice of you choosing. A lot of my coworkers learn how to make it when deployed.

  53. What we really need is a law to execute those that take away our freedom of will, AND OUR GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO CHOOSE.
    We also need to hold accountable for perjury those politicians who make promises and then not keep them.
    Kill the wealthy, steal and pillage the corporations, take your money out of the bank, buy only what you need to survive on, or grow your own food.

    1. miss a dose of thorazine, did we?

  54. Fuck New York City. And most of all, Fuck Bloomberg

  55. The sale of the deadly, addictive substance distilled ethyl alcohol is still legal, I presume?

  56. You guys are awesome. I have nothing to contribute, but the comments were far superior to the article!

  57. You guys are on point. Camel cigarettes already have licorice, cocoa, and dried fruit extracts. But I guess these aren’t flavors.

  58. Good thing I saw this article before I left for nyc today. I just realised I won’t be able to buy my flavoured nicotine gum over there.

  59. Look out wine coolers, alco-pop, and assorted girly drinks with paper umbrellas! Your cool fruitiness is far too apealing to teh children!!

  60. Sorry, but you are wrong. Laws which forbid selling tobacco to children are nice, but they don’t help very much. If somebody wants to smoke, he will find a way. So the best way is to do something which makes children not WANT to smoke. In the mentioned case: if a child tries its first smoke, and if there are no flavors and chemicals which make the smoke smooth and prevent from coughing and feeling ill, then the child will not try a second time, and this will work much better than any law.

  61. This is ridiculous. I personally believe “kids” will choose to smoke based on how they are raised, and also based on their own decisions. There have been studies done on the D.A.R.E. program and they have showed that it is INEFFECTIVE!

    I chose to smoke cigars because I grew up around my family members smoking cigars, so I decided to try them and I liked them.

    This is literally just the start of the government turning into a communist regime and controlling every industry including alcohol, tobacco, computers, ANYTHING.

    It is a LEGAL right to be able to buy tobacco at the age of 18, so a mayor, whose job title is the only thing that separates him from me, is going to tell me to not buy my cigars, red man, and shisha tobacco? I will literally LAUGH in his face as I smoke a CAO Americana and tell him to “Shove it!”.

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