Yesterday, as word spread that the FDA banned candy-flavored tobacco, policy experts cheered the news and cigarette makers condemned it. About what you'd expect. Rather than rehash the standard fare, the Atlantic Wire went beyond the usual commentators to find the folks directly impacted--those who actually smoke strawberry cigarettes (or have moms who do). Here's who cares and what they think:
The Angry Mom A woman at CafeMom, a social networking site for (yep) moms, thinks the government should mind its own business: "I think the government needs to butt out, no pun intended. It's our responsibility to care for our health and not smoke, not theirs. Are they going to stop selling yummy flavored soda?"
Crusading Undergrads The kids at Rocky Mountain College's student newspaper are fuming. In a staff editorial, they write, "What's next if we keep protecting 'the children?' We already see a tax on soda proposed in Congress. We assume Lucky Charms and fast food are next on the chopping block. Since these products can, perhaps, lead children into unhealthy lifestyles, we better ban them just to be safe, right?"
The Condescending Manhattanite Hamilton Nolan at Gawker lashed out at anyone who'd even think about smoking flavored tobacco:
Suck down the last sickly sweet puffs of your precious Warm Winter Toffee Camels, kids, because as of today, flavored cigarettes are illegal in America... Tobacco is nasty. It's supposed to be nasty. It is not supposed to taste like various flavors of pie. "Flavored tobacoo" is for hookah smokers who spend all day lounging around cafes rather than blazing trails and building railroads and slaughtering native populations.
The Jones'ing Libertarian From the rooftops of Rational Review (the "premier libertarian web journal"), Ayn R. Key recalls the good old days: "Back when I was a smoker, I considered clove cigarettes to be a rare and special treat that I would indulge in once a month. Those things had a flavor that cannot be believed (if you're a smoker). This is ... unbelievable, even for someone who always expects the worst of government."
The Misguided Daughter Defending her pipe-smoking mother, LokisMama, writes "My mom smokes cherry tobacco in her pipe. They need to butt the hell out. I smoked for awhile, and frankly, I don't blame people for wanting to smoke flavored cigarettes, because the Marlboro's [sic] I smoked were downright nasty. Menthols are better but not by much."