Really, no more cloves?
September 23, 2009 8:14 AM   Subscribe

So... The US has banned clove cigarettes. This is the only type I smoke because I dislike the taste and feel of smoking a tobacco-only cigarette. What options to I have?

Please, no advice about quitting. I am an adult smoker who is aware that smoking is harmful, and I've set for myself a time at which I will quit. The FDA meddling in my decisions is not the time I had selected.

Things I've considered...
~ It seems that pipe tobacco may still be ok - does clove pipe tobacco exist?
~ Blending my own pipe tobacco with (organic?) cloves
~ Purchasing from an online retailer (outside the US) and sending money orders to the government to cover the taxes I would have incurred, had I been able to purchase the cloves in my area.
~ Driving to Canada or Mexico.
~ Asking friends that live in other countries to send them to me (from Europe, Asia or Africa)
~ Purchasing them on an American Indian reservation (I haven't been able to decipher whether or not the law prevents them from being sold there)

I live in a major US city within a day's drive from either Mexico or Canada. I can be contacted at nocloves@gmail.com for follow up questions or information you'd rather not post here.

Thank you!
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (27 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
On NPR, they reported that cigarette companies are starting to sell clove "mini-cigars" that are, for the time being, legal. This may change after an FDA review but they seemed to be available at least in NYC.
posted by muddgirl at 8:19 AM on September 23, 2009


Clove cigars, sadly for people with breathing problems on college campuses, are still legal.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 8:20 AM on September 23, 2009


You can roll your own (that community is hilarious, btw. Stocking up on cloves like they're bottled water in a natural disaster).

Or, you know, be opportunistic and quit earlier than planned.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:21 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


There seems to be some dispute whether the ban already affects mini-cigars--there have been reports oft he agents (presumably ATF, but maybe FDA) visiting shops to instruct proprietors to dispose of their flavored cigars.

I'm all for the ban as a way of curtailing "starter cigarettes," but cloves should be the birthright of bohemians everywhere! A nice clove cigarette is lovely after a meal. (Except if you're a kid, in which case it is horribly wrong and bad for you.)
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:24 AM on September 23, 2009


Wow, didn't realize that cloves were banned. What will happen to teen angst?

Buying a clove "cigar" is one possibility.

It looks like you could probably just order clove cigarettes online, or loose clove tobacco as well. Google "roll your own clove cigarettes" and you will get a bunch of links to clove tobacco shops. Don't know about the legality of it, but it is worth a shot, just to stick it to the FDA.
posted by baxter_ilion at 8:27 AM on September 23, 2009


The taste is quite different (but not like tobacco): You could switch to highly-mentholated cigarettes, such as Salem. Tastes a bit like mint gum.
posted by Houstonian at 8:32 AM on September 23, 2009


I switched to nicotine gum before the dumbshits banned cloves, but I see flavored cigarettes at remaindered prices at stores around town. There's a good chance you'll find a few cartons of cloves left in the store rooms of tobacco shops in your city.
posted by bunnytricks at 8:46 AM on September 23, 2009


I live in a major US city within a day's drive from either Mexico or Canada.

My mind boggles. I guess LA qualifies, technically, but that's a long day of driving.

Seconding the menthol suggestion, since that's another "flavor" that masks the regular tobacco one. Indian reservations are also a safe and easy bet. Even if they're technically banned there, the odds of enforcement are very low.
posted by rokusan at 8:50 AM on September 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Purchasing from an online retailer (outside the US) and sending money orders to the government to cover the taxes I would have incurred, had I been able to purchase the cloves in my area.

Are you sure you have to pay taxes on them if they were shipped from overseas?
posted by bigmusic at 9:02 AM on September 23, 2009


I would think rolling your own would work - you can add filters and everything. If you get one of those rolling machines you can make cigarettes that are pretty much just like store bought.

I'm surprised there isn't a fpp about this.
posted by Big_B at 9:10 AM on September 23, 2009


Reservation shops are unlikely to provide an outlet. (Not a lawyer, but...) My understanding is that shopping on the rez is typically a loophole around state taxes and regulations, not federal. Plus, they're probably buying from wholesalers who won't be stocking Djarum or Sampoerna anymore.

Buying online from an overseas provider--who knows? Nobody has any experience in the new environment yet. However, if you're likely to be buying in any sort of quantity, you could appear to be purchasing them for business purposes, which is more likely to attract unwanted attention. That's just speculation at this point, of course, but it's a situation I'd try to avoid.
posted by gimonca at 9:26 AM on September 23, 2009


A menthol is not a clove.

I'm surprised there isn't a fpp about this.

There was. Sort of.
posted by applemeat at 9:30 AM on September 23, 2009


~ It seems that pipe tobacco may still be ok - does clove pipe tobacco exist?

The same law also bans flavored "loose tobacco that is intended for use by consumers in a cigarette". Seems like a bit of a fuzzy line.
posted by smackfu at 9:41 AM on September 23, 2009


Rather than rely on my loose speculation and offhand memories, here's the text of the bill. Any informed comment on what any particular clause means is welcome.
posted by gimonca at 9:56 AM on September 23, 2009


Smoke regular cigarettes and keep a dried clove in your cheek to chaw and suck on. Eventually, maybe you'll switch to cloves alone.
posted by pracowity at 10:24 AM on September 23, 2009


My boss went out and bought a bunch of cloves at the smoke shop yesterday; I assume they are allowed to sell through whatever stock they have. Otherwise, I am not sure that it is illegal buy them from a UK supplier over the internet. Still looked yesterday like you could get some online, and I've thought of buying myself a case and freezing them, since I only smoke when I drink, and when I smoke, I only want cloves.
posted by Medieval Maven at 10:29 AM on September 23, 2009


Did they kill clove cigarettes or clove flavored cigarettes? The FDA controls tobacco now. So unless clove cigarettes contain tobacco how could they ban them?
posted by Gungho at 12:23 PM on September 23, 2009


It looks like you can still order them online. The bill does not make the purchase or possession of them illegal, only the sale by US companies.
posted by travis08 at 12:32 PM on September 23, 2009


So unless clove cigarettes contain tobacco how could they ban them?

Clove cigarettes have tobacco in them, yes. All flavored cigarettes other than menthols are now banned, the reasoning being that they are more appealing to the under-18 set.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:37 PM on September 23, 2009


The bill does not make the purchase or possession of them illegal, only the sale by US companies.

It also classifies them as an "adulterated product" which means they are subject to seizure upon interstate commerce.
posted by smackfu at 12:45 PM on September 23, 2009


Wow, I had no idea cloves had been banned. Won't someone think of the goths? Also, I had no idea there was such a thing as chocolate cigarettes...and now I want one.

But; as for getting your clove fix on, your best bet is to do the following:

Buy a coffee grinder that you're not going to use for anything else.

Buy rolling tobacco, papers and filters from a roll-your-own shop.

Buy whole cloves from a reputable spice store. You don't want to start with ground cloves because ground herbs have already lost most of the oils.

Grind 15% cloves to 85% tobacco in your grinder. (Just pulse a bit, don't powderize it.) Start buy grinding the cloves, then add tobacco just long enough to fully incorporate the cloves through-out.

(Adjust for taste as necessary, but 15% seems to have been the industry standard.)

Roll that bad-boy up. Feel the gothlings and hipsters stare at you with envy.

Alternately, you can buy clove bud (make sure it's BUD) essential oil, and infuse tobacco, but there is more risk that way, because finding a clove essential oil that hasn't been creating using solvents can be tricky unless you're buying a lot of it, and you can guarantee the supply chain. I can hook you up with some suppliers, but they have minimums in the kilograms...which is a ton of EO if all you need is a teaspoon or so.
posted by dejah420 at 2:27 PM on September 23, 2009


You could turn gangsta and start smoking vanilla Black ' n ' Milds. They taste like smoking a milkshake.
posted by WeekendJen at 2:45 PM on September 23, 2009


Surely vanilla stuff is banned as well?
posted by redfoxtail at 2:52 PM on September 23, 2009


Federal Register enforcement notice has come out:

http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2009-23144_PI.pdf
posted by gimonca at 2:53 PM on September 23, 2009


Surely vanilla stuff is banned as well?

Yes, in fact, it's explicit in the text of the bill.
posted by gimonca at 2:54 PM on September 23, 2009


Just order from Europe.
posted by fixedgear at 3:42 PM on September 23, 2009


Why can they ban flavored cigarettes to "save the children", yet still allow vanilla scented plastic trash bags?
posted by Gungho at 10:16 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


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