Lost in the hubbub over the state's smoking ban finally taking effect (plenty more on that in this week's dead tree edition), is the federal government's decision to pull cloves from the market. All you Dreams and Djarum smokers? You've got 'til midnight.
In talking with employees at both The Bell on East Broadway and Smoker Friendly on Brooks, the reaction was the same.
"It's just another thing," says Ivy Taylor at the Bell.
"It doesn't make any sense," says Chaun Emery at SF. "First Obama raises taxes, then he pulls 'em off the shelves entirely. Why would he just go and lose all that tax revenue?"
Neither store was sure what sort of dent the ban would have on business. But Emery did say that he ordered 24 cartons of Djarum blacks in anticipation of last-minute hoarding, and all 240 packs were gone within a few days. On Friday, his store had a few clove packs remaining in an otherwise picked over display.
"I know people are upset," says Emery.
Congress passed The Tobacco Control Act in June. Part of the reasoning for pulling cloves, according to reports, is that health experts believe flavored products — cloves come in vanilla, chocolate, cherry, etc. — entice younger smokers. Huh. As one Indy staffer pointed out, the "cool" kids in high school always smoked Camels and Marlboros; anybody who followed anybody who smoked a clove was a tool.
Anyway, the company that imports Djarum is already looking for a way around the law. The great gateway cigarette may live on after all.