Much Ado About Flavoring: Part Two

C. R. S. Lyles
From the Editor:
The opening photograph to this article is meant to be sarcastic parody. I’m sure our primary audience knows this, but with the anti-tobacco lunacy spiraling ever higher, I am forced to give an explanation up front to avoid a potential crucifixion.
New York City banned all flavored tobacco without an exemption for pipe tobacco. Effectively, almost all pipe tobacco will now be illegal there. The FDA is now considering following suit on a national level. The supposed reasoning is to save the children from the evils of tobacco. Ok, fine, but why not exempt pipe tobacco (and cigars)? Find me one “child” that actually smokes pipe tobacco in a briar pipe and I’ll give you a million dollars.
They are potentially solving a problem that doesn’t exist while putting an entire industry out of business. – Kevin Godbee

This issue requires no preamble; the situation needs no context to understand its implications — there are those who exist in this country with the power to tell you what to do, and they are telling you what to do.
On June 22, 2009, President Obama signed into law H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Prior to this piece of legislation being signed into law, the Supreme Court had ruled in FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. that the FDA did not have the authority to regulate tobacco products.
Now, one can argue that, in 2009, there was a decidedly partisan administration running both the executive and legislative branches and that something such as this was an inevitability, but that’s missing the point. For now, the situation is what it is, and the only way to amend the damages wrought upon personal freedoms is by playing the same game that freedom’s opponents are playing better than us.
One such method, as discussed in previous articles, is submitting legislation on behalf of the rights of smokers and tobacconists across the country.

Craig Tarler, President of Cornell & Diehl

Another way, though, is through simple education, which is where manufacturers such Craig Tarler and Leonard Wortzel come in.
Tarler, the president of Cornell & Diehl for the past 22 years, has said that educating the regulators themselves is going to be one of the first steps.
“This time last year, I had a complete audit by TTB (Tobacco Tax Bureau) from two agents who were supposed to understand the business,” Tarler said. “And they told me they had never even seen a pipe tobacco manufacturing operation. They were amazed at the cutting and the blending and the pressing — they had never seen any of it.”
In the first part of this series, Paul Creasy warned against the dangers of pipe tobacco being regulated out of existence by accident (due possibly to their premature leaps to “stick it to the cigarette companies.”) According to Tarler, this is exactly the way that it happens.
“If this happens [with agents such as these],” Tarler implored. “Then what happens to the people who are less schooled?”
The agents in question, according to Tarler, said that they wanted to use the Cornell & Diehl manufacturing operation as an example for training, but this is only a first step toward a re-education of the American population in how tobacco products are viewed.
In the eyes of the mass populous, tobacco in all forms is inherently destructive and evil and will give you cancer just from its smell, but to anyone who’s enjoyed anything other than a cigarette, this fact unravels quickly into the farce that it is.
Wortzel, brand manager for pipe and RYO (roll-your-own) at Lane Limited, spoke of how this misconception has long been a part of our culture, even up to the government.
Leonard Wortzel, Brand Manager Pipe and RYO, Lane Limited
Leonard Wortzel, Brand Manager Pipe and RYO, Lane Limited

“They’ve been attempting to establish a jurisdiction over tobacco products since 1995,” Wortzel said. “It was originally overturned by the Supreme Court in 2000 as beyond their authority, but every year since then, they’ve introduced a bill to give the FDA that jurisdiction.”
Which brings us nicely to 2009, where “they” finally got their wish, partially spurred on, according to Wortzel, by public health advocates, court findings in the U.S. v Philip Morris Inc. case, and support from Philip Morris itself.
Since then, Wortzel said, the first new FDA center in 30 years has been built: the Center for Tobacco Products.
“In 2009, the Center for Tobacco Products had a $78 million budget and 13 employees,” Wortzel said. “By 2011, that budget increased to $477 million and they had 370 full-time employees.”
But there is one thing that the CTP doesn’t have.
“Currently, the Tobacco Center actually doesn’t have jurisdiction over pipe [tobacco] and/or cigars,” Wortzel said. “It’s specifically written in that they don’t. But the intent and the expectation (for which they’re currently writing legislation) is to bring pipe [tobacco] and cigars under their jurisdiction and under the Tobacco Control Act so that they can more actively enforce laws.
“Now, while this sounds like more meddlesome over-regulation, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, according to Wortzel.
“The one hope is that the Center for Tobacco Products is actively engaging with the industry and getting up to speed so that they don’t make decisions and pass laws that wipe out entire industries when that wasn’t their original intention,” Wortzel said. “That’s what happens when they start labeling everything as one big industry instead of recognizing the breakdown. What I honestly hope is that there will be a sense of constructive cooperation between the industry and the FDA.”
Familiar rhetoric certainly, but if anything about the current state of our country has taught us about those who inhabit it, it is this: the repetition of words with a progressively louder volume leads to willful and welcome indoctrination.
For example, a recent news story arose surrounding an “economic life lesson” that was being taught to students at Valencia College in Orlando, Fla., by their professor, Jack Chambless.
The assignment Chambless gave to the class was an essay question that asked if they would be willing “to support a law that banned the right to own property and imposed heavy, progressive income taxes on people in order to bring about a reduction in poverty and ‘greater sense of community.'”
Now, for those of you who are familiar with the work of Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx, you will undoubtedly recognize the rhetoric of the first two planks of the Communist Manifesto, almost verbatim.
However, to someone who is only familiar with the language and “buzz-words” of our times, you would hear an answer to the housing crisis and a way to get back at the evil Wall Street executives and tax the rich “their fair share.”
Unfortunately, out of the 137 students the quiz was given to, 28% “wrote that they would support, enthusiastically in some cases, the elimination of the right to property for Americans and far greater taxation.”
True, the socioeconomic statistics are disparaging (due primarily to the rather lopsided nature of the income and capital gains taxes, but that’s another story), but I bring this example to light to illustrate an important fact-one which I believe all those who have spoken out against the New York flavoring ban, H.R. 1256, and further FDA regulatory measures — all it takes to turn someone or something against itself is the right choice of words.
Which is exactly the crisis facing pipe tobacco: a confusion of words. What to the mass population means “enticing to children,” means “a more enjoyable smoke” to a pipe smoker, or “next month’s rent” to a tobacconist.
Flavoring, casing, topping — whatever you call it, it must be accepted within its own context. Lumping in all tobacco products so that they can be regulated to death is…well, I believe the example of the Valencia class’ responses provides an appropriate parallel.
C. R. S. Lyles
More from the Editor: FDA law, as passed by Congress in 2009, allows the agency to extend tobacco regulations to other tobacco products, including cigars and pipe tobacco. Currently, the FDA only regulates cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless tobacco products.
On April 25, 2011, the FDA issued a letter stating its intent to propose regulations on other tobacco products, such as cigars and pipe tobacco. The letter went on to state that these regulations may include company registration, product listing, ingredient listing, good manufacturing practice requirements, user fees for certain products and premarket review requirements for new tobacco products and modified risk tobacco products.
Subsequent to the April 2011 announcement by the FDA, industry trade groups representing cigar and pipe tobacco manufacturers have made presentations to FDA staff on the uniqueness of these tobacco products and the agency has not yet issued any proposed regulations for these products.
The FDA does not have any time frame or deadline by which any proposed regulations on these tobacco products would be issued for public comment. In fact, the FDA might, but is not required to, extend its regulatory authority to cigars and pipe tobacco.
Stay tuned to the pages of Pipes Magazine to stay current on the legislative front of pipe tobacco.

Carter R. Lyles is a student at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL and at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He is a journalism/psychology major, and in addition to his work at Pipes Magazine, he has contributed articles to Cigar Chronicles, The Alligator, Thursday Night Magazine, and The Fine Print.

37 Responses

  • I think we need to pass a law that Congressman/woman and Senators only work part time, and because they should be proud to serve their country…there will no longer be any 100,000+ per year salary…the will work for free and have no staff with the exception of an administrative assistant.
    The less time these morons spend in DC the better.

  • Thank you Craig for the very wise alert based of facts (not frequently done these days). You are an honorable man and the
    greatest voice we could have at this time. Fortunately I have enough tobacco to last the balance of my life but I still care about the future of this great industry,
    Your friend Papa John Manytrees

  • That’s sort of like banning Ferraris because a kid might get inside one and drive it. Welcome to the nanny state.

  • Wait a minute, banning flavored tobaccos. well that would be all tobacco then, they all have a flavor of some kind. idiots.

  • I always shake my head when I hear about banning flavoured tobacco “because of the children”. My first experience with tobacco wasn’t some candy-flavoured cigarillo, but rather a half-pack of Export unfiltered I pilfered off of a relative (which I then proceeded to chain-smoke behind the tool-shed). I suspect this can be said for the majority of smokers – both young and old.
    In fact, I did try to purchase flavoured tobacco as a teenager; unfortunately, I couldn’t find a tobacconist (or corner store owner) unscrupulous enough to sell me said products – while I have never had issues finding a shop to sell me a pack of butts.

  • Words escape me.
    Freedom in America apparently means the freedom to do whatever you can get away with.

  • I hate to say this (and sadly I seem to say it more and more) “This 200+ year old experiment has failed. Please turn off the lights on your way out…” I hope we don’t lose the right to this wonderful pleasure of ours any time soon.

  • This lunacy goes much further than USA – if it should prevail, it will also mean we in Australia will be unable to purchase the limited bulk blends that only 1 or 2 pipe tobacconists import from USA, and USA only to supply the entire nation. Major impact too in every other civilised nation buying USA baccy, not to mention the impact on your already miserable economy.
    Tobacco coys. MUST find a way around this i.e. manufacture basic, unflavoured tobacco and sell the consumer a separate sachet of “casing/flavor” they need to add and then age themselves? I see this as being the most viable perhaps?
    Manufacture in Mexico or other offshore places (cheap 3rd world) and supply consumers via mail-order only, but what of B&M Stores?
    In a nutshell, who do these morons across The Ditch think they are entitled to dictate to all & sundry what they can/cannot do and destroy an entire industry in the process? Tell ’em to shove off & concentrate on McDonalds & heart disease FFS!!!

  • Marxism, Communism or whatever-ism. I call it Idiot-ism, Do the idiots not understand that when you start to irritate people that it will eventually build and build until the top blows off. Besides writing Lawmakers and voting at the polls what else can we do that is within the bounds of the law, so that we can stop this mess before it can go further and more liberties are lost?!!!

  • Mr. Wortzel,
    Has Lane relabled any RYO cigarette tobacco as “Pipe Tobacco”? And, regardless, what is your opinion of this practice?

  • So much for the land of the free.. Let’s see what else is bad for you?…food, alcohol, sugar, salt, television, cell phones, cars, motorcycles, loud music, plastic bottles, soap, dish detergent, laundry detergent, toothpaste (would ya believe it’s full of carcinogens?)… Ridiculous.

  • I’m going to vote for people that will not let this nonsense pass but I want to do more. This Padre has had enough! All I need is someone to point me in the general direction. [:x]

  • Ridiculous, worst than communism (I used to live in that regime for over 20 years).
    What’s next? Please tell us how to live our life, what to eat, drink, when to go to bed!

  • JD:
    The short answer is no, and the practice has been pretty devistating to the RYO industry, which I’m also responsible for here at Lane. Since the 2009 taxation changes which gave rise to the practice, approximately 70% of all U.S. RYO consumers have fled to ‘pipe tobacco.’ We support The Pipe Tobacco Council, Inc.’s efforts to create firm criteria for calling a product pipe tobacco.

  • Many pipe smoker’s purchase tobacco for “aging” purposes, meaning the aging process may enhance the flavor of a particular blend. Today, many pipe smoker’s purchase tobacco because of inevitable price increases due to over-regulation, taxes and the fear of not being able to buy your favorite pipe tobacco once the Act is fully implemented. I believe the “fear-factor” is real and has probably increased tobacco sales. But, I am even more fearful of the erosion of personal freedom in many aspects of our life. Tobacco regulation is a “symptom” of a growing problem within our society to limit personal freedom.

  • Many thanks to for exposing the government’s regulatory scheming that other media apparently conspire to under-report, skew, or ignore (read conceal!) I encourage all to support Cornell & Diehl, Lane Ltd. and for their considerable efforts to safeguard our freedoms.
    If our legislators really had the welfare of our children at heart they would work vigilantly to preserve these freedoms, not erode them. Remember, legislation must be signed by the President (whose position as Chief Executive also brings him in control of the FDA.) Think twice before voting foe ANY “big government” Democrat.

  • ps. In that last sentence the word “foe” is a typographical error; but I think it’s a particularly apt Freudian slip! 🙂

  • Times they are changing.What this country needs is a $200 2oz. baccy pouch.Well , we already have that with the vintage tobacco.Sky is the limit so we can wait for more no sense.

  • The tobacco regulations are not the problem. They are merely a symptom. The real problem is big government, period.

  • Under the current “situation” (I cannot complain any further for fear of censorship) perhaps the Only solution is to stock up in preparation of ultimate full control and perhaps declaration of tobacco being an illegal substance even though prohibition of any product, such as certain drugs and alcohol, has proven to be difficult and costly to everyone. It has happened before and continues to this day.
    The one thing that amazes me is that government continues to try to eliminate tobacco and alcohol use while needing the tax income to carry on other stupid programs that have proven to be absolute failures and even more destructive.
    I could go on with this post but it would be useless. Without a concerted and organized and fully supported effort to bring down these ridiculous regulations there is little that can be done other than to do as I have done and that is to stock up and cellar as many blends as you can afford. I have for years and now hopefully have enough to last my lifetime. I can only hope that my tastes don’t change in the process.

  • Under the current “situation” (I cannot complain any further for fear of censorship) perhaps the Only solution is to stock up in preparation of ultimate full control and perhaps declaration of tobacco being an illegal substance even though prohibition of any product, such as certain drugs and alcohol, has proven to be difficult and costly to everyone. It has happened before and continues to this day.
    The one thing that amazes me is that government continues to try to eliminate tobacco and alcohol use while needing the tax income to carry on other stupid programs that have proven to be absolute failures and even more destructive.
    I could go on with this post but it would be useless. Without a concerted and organized and fully supported effort to bring down these ridiculous regulations there is little that can be done other than to do as I have done and that is to stock up and cellar as many blends as you can afford. I have for years and now hopefully have enough to last my lifetime. I can only hope that my tastes don’t change in the process.

  • These crooks we have in office are always looking for another area to demonize and then control. What we have to do is vote them out of office. No one should be in for more than 1 term and that should be a part time position. I say if there in vote them out and lets start to put pressure on them as a voting block. Can you think of any area they have made better over the last 20 years. They do not make decisions based on facts and truth its all about feelings the idiots way of thinking is to start by saying I feel. We have a right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness within the framework of the law, last time I checked tobacco was legal. It’s funny the egg heads in office don’t see the danger of men sleeping with other men no that’s a courageous life style choice or aborting an 8 month old fetus that a freedom of choice. Please give me a break. We need to take this country back from this group of Marxist that are now in control of this government.

  • Dear freedom-loving fellow smokers:
    Please watch these 4 movies and it will open your eyes and make it MUCH clearer to you as to what’s really happening globally instead of trying to pin the blame for tobacco ban on some little marionettes.
    The tobacco ban, as horrible as it is, is the least of our problems and is just a precursor of the things to come…
    I’ve stumbled across these by accident.

  • “In 2009, the Center for Tobacco Products had a $78 million budget and 13 employees,” Wortzel said. “By 2011, that budget increased to $477 million and they had 370 full-time employees.”
    Well there’s your problem right there. There’s a lot of money to be made by the pharmaceutical industry if tobacco (and then sugar, salt, etc.) is banned, which, make no mistake, *is* the intent of the World Health Organization.

  • I guess someday these non-smoking guys in the US will ban you all from the society as [passive] murderers. Good luck, guys!

  • Hell, I really don’t have a problem (yet). After all, an ounce of tobacco is currently cheaper than a gallon of gas! However, I am noticing that a tank of gas doesn’t last me as long as a pound of tobacco…

  • We have to get out and VOTE in November.
    We need to get other people out to vote in November.
    We have to out number the idiots who want this controlling government.
    With strong beliefs, I could NEVER vote for a democrat ever again.
    We must force the hand of the republican party to be the freedom party. Currently, they are the same as the dems, just a slower pace.
    This year is our last chance to right the wrong direction.

  • As a former U.S. Senate staffer myself, I can assure you that if the FDA does upgrade their “interest” in pipe tobacco, then it will only be a matter of time before really bad things start to happen. And, to imagine that any of them really care about kids smoking pipes is, obviously, laughable. (You can be sure that many of them smoked pipes when they were kids, but it was not pipe tobacco they were smoking). The game, obviously, is all about controlling the lives of the people. These elitists–Obama and his allies–actually are convinced that “the little people” are too stupid and child-like to be allowed the responsibility of running their own lives. So, they do believe that they are doing you a favor by “saving” you from yourself. Remember when you were a child and Mom and Dad installed those little latches so you could not open the cabinets and harm yourself? These lunatics see themselves as Mom and Dad, part two. If Obama wins in November, these outrages will escalate at an exponential rate, because Obama will not have to worry about another election. Believe you me, my friends, if this guy wins it in November dark days are coming.

  • This stupidity is also following suit here in Brazil… Our FDA, named ANVISA, is also banning any tobacco with flavouring protect pur children… I have never seen one single child over here or anywhere else enjoying a pipe whatsoever… This is so freaking annoying amd ridiculous! The law will be fully implemented in 2 yrs time, so I better stock up while I can.

  • I concur with everyone here, a lot of people have been sitting back why local, city, and state politicians get elected that go on to reek havoc like MR. OBAMA. The most important elections are the one’s that happen within your state, the most sad thing about all this the liberal “Everybody should where panty’s” and if your colored, weird, strange, crazy… We will except you for our demonic world domination plan, where nothing will make sense in the long running future.. People love the easiest way out, hell it even popular now to apply for any kind of government help, in the old days that was highly shunned. The liberals want everyone to run on salads and red thongs. I can’t say conservative agenda will help us either they have plot for human reduction as well and more political madness, I am beginning to not like elitist one bit. People will work with government if they work with them, at this point they believe they are done working with the people and are just going to shove bills in, until finally they have total control of population. Sad really, and not one bit unique, I couldn’t imagine a world where everyone was emotionless and cold.

  • It’s not only in America this is happening, legilators all over the world are telling the people how they should think. In Britain, the government are now talking about stopping people smoking in their cars. You can’t smoke near the door of a shop incase the smoke drifts in and causes secondary smoke problems.
    All shops are going to have to hide their tobacco products under the counter.
    It is the only the beginning, they won’t be happy untill they have banned smoking completely.
    Why the hell can’t they treat people as adults and tell them the risks and then let them make up their own minds?
    Maybe if there was a complete ban, then we would have what they had in the 20’s in America with prohibition. Illegal selling of tobacco,illegal smoking clubs.There would probably be more people smokng then than there is now.
    Sorry for rambling on, but I do sometimes wonder why we bother to vote at all.

  • If they discontinue Captain Black (White), I don’t know what’ll I do. Stock up now I guess. Learn how to make it on my own? It’s all so deplorable, attacking pipe smokers, of all people! Too many administrators with too much time on the hands. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

  • I live in the UK..and have always loved America for it freedom what madness this is..I like shooting and its getting almost impossible own a gun here, tobacco seems to be going the same way ,what seems crazy to me is the ability for a small group of individuals to just “railroad” others into their ideas of what is right or wrong, God help us from these Nazi’s , our grand parents died in europe and the east to save democracy and allow us to live a free life, these people do not have the slightest problem sending young people to their deaths in wars, they do not have a problem with over taxing us, can they not see that we are burdened with tax and legislation which we do not need, did our grand parents and families die in vein for our right to freedom? I am beginning to believe they did..Ian

  • This is a great article. It brings to light an issue that we have with not only the general public and our lawmakers, but with our youth as well. It’s not necessarily that the general public is stupid, it’s that they know so much that isn’t so. Another issue to consider is time: it is our enemy. If younger, college-aged individuals keep getting fed information that clumps all forms of tobacco in with cigarettes, as they grow older, it will become even more difficult for us to seperate the two in their minds.
    This issue needs to continue to be brought to light! Sooner rather than later!

  • Well this just makes me sad. I’ve been writing to many politicians against several bills that came up trying to make pipe tobacco illegal to ship, more expensive to buy, and that classic “lumping them in with the cigarette laws.” The biggest problem is pipe tobacco users only account for 2% of total tobacco users and therefore they have a very small voice indeed, the only good thing about this is the fact that children do not abuse these products, most likely because they are not well known and not exactly easy to learn how to use. It took me a year before I could properly pack a pipe.

  • I think that a lot of lawmakers don’t realize that most kids are already tainted by anti-tobacco propaganda and wouldn’t touch tobacco anyway…
    As far as the law is concerned, I’ve written so many emails to lawmakers it’s ridiculous. In Michigan, our senators are generally pro-tobacco, but we’re just a small voice in the big senate. In other states, a word to the wise would be to write emails, make phone calls, bog down communication with calm information and hopefully an understanding can be made. If not, dust off your pitchforks, folks..

  • Thank goodness I was born in an era that allowed me to purchase and learn to enjoy this life-long passion of pipe smoking. Not that a few eyebrows weren’t raised at a 9 year old boy smoking a pipe…but rarely did I ever hear any “gasps” or complaints regarding my pipe smoking.
    In fact I made many friends, especially elderly men and their family members, who thought it novel, that a boy could live out his dreams of smoking a pipe and “hang-out” with Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Yes, a romantic notion…I admit, yet a notion which is as vivid in my mind today as it was back then.
    As many have already stated in their posts…many of us have written our legislators and others in government, to no real avail. I often wonder when the pendelum will swing back…I am afraid it may not.
    As the father of 3 sons(28,17, and 15), I look at them wondering what foolish and irresponsible legislation will they endure and what “passions” will be taken from them…
    I will continue to hope for the best and plan for the worst…Over the years, my sons have asked me, Dad, “why are you storing all this pipe tobacco”? They know now.
    ….a pipe is to be savored…