FDA regulations ban on clove cigarettes Indonesia may protest to WTO..

June 19, 2009 - Indonesia, the largest maker of clove cigarettes, may complain to the World Trade Organization about U.S. legislation that gives regulators expanded powers to regulate tobacco products, including possible bans on flavors such as clove but NOT menthol..

Indonesian Trade Minister: Mari Pangestu We’ll be having consultations,” said today in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “If we feel that this is treated discriminately, we’ll of course take it to the normal processes in the World Trade Organization (WTO).”

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act bans clove but spares menthol. Indonesia - dispute with U.S. over banning the use of clove in cigarettes.. Menthols accounted for a quarter of the roughly 370 billion cigarettes smoked domestically in 2006 and are more popular here than anywhere else in the world. Menthol cigarettes have been linked to 14.6 percent of all African-American deaths in 2006. The next most popular flavored cigarette, clove, accounts for .09 percent of the market. Those cigarettes are banned under the bill. Indonesia, which provides 99 percent of the clove cigarettes to the U.S. market, has complained to the U.S. trade representative about the disparity with menthol. If Indonesia brings a protectionist complaint to the World Trade Organization, it would compel the U.S. government to prove cloves were banned for health reasons. Namely, the United States would have to show that the flavor of cloves enhances cigarettes’ addictive properties. If it can’t, the ban could be considered a trade violation.

The legislation, which was approved by the House of Representatives and Senate earlier this month, offers a concession on menthol, the most popular flavored cigarette in the U.S. Pangestu’s comments reiterate Indonesian objections made last month.

“We feel this is discriminating against cloves because menthol is not considered,” Pangestu said today from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Cloves, native to Indonesia, are a spice taken from the dried flower buds of a tropical tree.

Indonesia exports about $500 million worth of clove cigarettes, known as kreteks, a year, according to Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat, Indonesia’s ambassador in Washington. About a fifth of the shipments go to the U.S., and Indonesia says its cigarettes make up 99 percent of the U.S. market for the product.

Pangestu said in May that a ban on kreteks would hurt Indonesian clove farmers and violate WTO rules. The Southeast Asian nation has about 4 million clove farmers.

To contact the reporters on this story: Naila Firdausi in Jakarta at nfirdausi@bloomberg.net; Haslinda Amin in Singapore at hamin1@bloomberg.net

Kretek (pronounced /ˈkriːtɛk/) are cigarettes made with a complex blend of tobacco, cloves and a flavoring 'sauce'. The word "kretek" itself is an onomatopoetic term (the formation or use of words such as buzz or murmur that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions they refer to.) for the crackling sound of burning cloves.

Reference: Indonesia May Complain to WTO About U.S. Tobacco Legislation

Related news brief: Indonesia - dispute with U.S. over banning the use of clove in cigarettes..



August 3, 2009 at 2:08 PM

Have I lost my right to choose as an american what I put in to my body? Will you tell me next I can't have starbucks? Why can all cigarettes just be sold in cartons or make a register of clove smokers so us adults and those of indo-american culture can enjoy the kreteks of their home land via mail order so we don't all become criminals and import cloves illegally after the 1st of september. cloves then ban obama's menthols. They are way more attractive to kids since everyone wants to be a rapper. My best friend from indonesia.. You just took a huge part of his culture away and now he will be a criminal who has them shipped from his family. Just today we were honest business men and now we count the days until we are criminal clove importers. Now that obama banned my cloves and I have to order them like a criminal! I wonder if Obama would sign a ban that included his cigarettes now that I am scrambling to get a bunch of djarums shipped before september 1st and find a resource to get them after the ban. These cigarettes are $8 a pack and $70 a carton. Why don't we sell flavored (or all cigarettes) in cartons? Then only smokers who are dedicated can buy them, children and the poor people who can afford a single packs but not health care will have to quit. I thought I lived in america, a free country. Where as an adult I have the priveledge to make a decision if I want flavored tobacco or flavored liquor. Flavored liquor is way more desirable to teenagers than flavored cigarettes. Flavored cigarettes are not affordable but any kid can get flavored liquor for a few dollars. We already have a law that prevnts minors from smoking, it is really the obligation of the parent. Not the government. Surely we wouldn't ban menthol or whatever brand Obama smokes anytime soon. These cigarettes I have been legally smoking since college are now illegal. I may as well smoke pot, they'll legalize that and tax it but won't let me enjoy a clove with my coffee. These guys get $210 a month from me for a pack of djarums a day and $2500 a year. Kids can't afford that. Middle class men and women can barely swing that. Especially these day, kids don't really smoke like they used to. People look at you like you have a disease when you smoke. Kids and the poor are going to smoke whatever they can afford. Most kids start on the brands there family and friends smoke (marlboro,camel,newports) menthols being especially popular with kids during the rise of hip-hop/pop culture. They are easier to smoke. A lot of people won't even smoke cloves because they are harsh and heavy. I gave my cousin who has been smoking reds for 30 years a clove yesterday and he almost choked to death. Way too much for the average smoker. These clove cigarettes are more cigarish and elitest with their high prices and taxes. Which is weird why in a recession that we take items off the shelf that provide such high tax revenues. Cloves and even other flavored cigarettes are smoked by the college type, the intellectual, coffee shop goers, musicians, goths, eccerntrics and other berkely types. These enjoyable smokes help me relax, review and reassess while I enjoy a cup of coffee. My friend likes them once or twice a month when drinking. My friend from indonesia smokes them daily like I do except the difference between me and him is you are depriving this man of his cultural right when america is suppose to embrace the ideas of different ethnic groups. We let the jewish go to temple, we let the middle eastern folk go to mosque and put curry on everything, the russian's get their vodka and the asians get their rice, rotten eggs and dog. My friend can't ever again smell the clove scent of his country, he and I went from being successful businessmen to having to become illegal clove importers just to enjoy our lifestyles. Just for my friend to enjoy is culture and feel at home with how he was raised. Almost all clove cigarettes
come from indonesia and so it really disrupts their market regardless of what the upper brass thinks. This is protectionism.