For one California importer of smokes, an awful lot has come to rest on the precise definition of a cigar. After a ban on clove cigarettes went into effect last month, Kretek International slyly began importing Djarum-brand clove “small cigars." They're quite similar to Djarum’s clove cigarettes, though they come in a box of 12—not 20—and are labeled as cigars. The FDA has warned against such steps to sidestep the ban.
In response, Kretek filed a complaint with the regulator, accusing it of "deliberately obfuscating" the "definition of cigarette," the Wall Street Journal reports. "If a product is a cigar, it is not a cigarette and vice versa," says the complaint. "Kretek contends that Djarum cigars are cigars"—though the label promises "a smoking experience you have come to expect." A House panel has begun its own investigation into the battle of semantics.