WTO upholds ruling that clove cigarette ban is discriminatory
The Wall Street Journal reports,
The ruling, issued Wednesday, took issue with the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that gave the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate the tobacco industry. The ruling found that the law violated global trade rules by banning the production and sale of cigarettes with cloves and many other flavors, but not menthol.
Once the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body accepts the appeal decision within the next 30 days, the U.S. will have to come up with a plan to comply or face the threat of retaliation by Indonesia. Meanwhile, the ban will remain in effect.
Of course, one way to comply with the decision would be for the US to ban Menthols. But Menthols are the most popular flavored cigarette manufactured in the United States. Menthols account for 25% of cigarette sales here. Menthols, by the way, are now thought to have greater health risks than regular cigarettes — a recent study links Menthols with a higher risk of stroke.