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Home » Cigar News

Djarum Sues FDA

Submitted by Rob on October 5, 2009 – 2:10 am21 Comments

blackThe top distributor of clove-flavored tobacco products in the U.S. is asking a federal court to decide whether its new filtered cigars fall under a new federal ban on flavored cigarettes.

Kretek International Inc., which imports Djarum brand tobacco products from Indonesia, sued the Food and Drug Administration Sept. 22.

The company claims the FDA, which was granted authority to regulate tobacco in June, has threatened to ban its products and the regulator is causing the company to lose money.

The FDA’s ban on manufacturing, importing, marketing and distributing candy-, fruit- and clove-flavored cigarettes took effect Sept. 22. It does not include menthol or other flavored tobacco products like cigars — issues that the FDA is studying.

Moorpark, Calif.-based Kretek International recently began selling small filtered spice-flavored cigars that are close to the size of a cigarette but are wrapped in tobacco rather than paper and contain cigar tobacco. As part of the lawsuit, it is asking for a judgment from the court that its new products do not fall under the FDA’s current ban.

Kretek says its Djarum cigar products meet federal standards for cigars. The company said the difference between cigarettes and cigars has been defined by laws that have been on the books for more than 30 years.

We have made every effort to meet the letter and spirit of the law,” John Geoghegan, Kretek’s director of brand development, said in a news release.

FDA spokeswoman Kathleen Quinn said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

Article Published by the Associated Press.

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  • b. piper says:

    Is the lawsuit still pending?? I seriously hope we are allowed to have our blacks back!
    Not only is giving the FDA controll a ludacrise idea, this is only making clove smokers seek alternative’s. Thus possibly making us do “illegal” activity. It is my decision to smoke and I choose to smoke cloves!
    Doe’s anyone else feel like “big brother” is getting a bigger grip over our personal freedom???

    I thought this was a free country….. sure dont feel like that now!

    • Cheryl says:

      Same here. I think it’s ridiculous that they say cloves make kids smoke. I had never even HEARD of flavored cigarettes when I started smoking. Just like with drinking, if kids want to do it, they will do it. I mean, what’s next: fruit-flavored alcohol? (And it’s even more suspicious that you can still buy menthol smokes. Last time I checked, menthol was a flavor.)

      I bought some of the Djarum “cigars” today and, after experimenting with clove-ifying regular cigarettes, I couldn’t be happier. They smoke a little differently, but I’ll take it.

      • Chris McCoy says:

        I finally found some Djarum “cigars”.They are pretty to close to my beloved Blacks.Only difference I can tell is that they have a brown paper instead of black.Same sweet taste on the filter,and great clove taste.I can only find them in 12 packs though.The store I get them at can’t keep them in stock!I had about 5 of the regular Djarum blacks left,and now I treasure them almost as much as my “SPECIAL OCCASION”cigars in my humidor.I hope that someone don’t complain about them so as to get them banned too.If they do I think I’ll move to Indonesia!!!Hope you all enjoy Djarum as much as I do.

      • Jo says:

        I’ve been smoking a pack of Djarum black cigars and have enjoyed them immensely. I hope they leave them alone. They’re a bit stronger than the cigs, but the cigar flavor is very good. I inhale mine, but not as hard as I would a cigarette. Definitely a good smoke. I do miss the cigarettes, but these will do-if they will just leave them alone.

    • Chris McCoy says:

      I agree with you all,I hope Djarum wins the lawsuit.How can we call this country free anymore? I bet if enough politicians smoked Djarum,they would not have been banned.I have read some articles on folks wanting to ban flavored alcohol.It won’t happen though because obviously they drink plenty of it in Washington.They had to be drunk when they passed this crazy law.I love my Djarum Blacks,and like most folks I’ll do what I have to to get them.I say we pass a law to ban stupid politicians,and take our “free country” back.I have not tried the Djarum cigarillos though,has any of you?I love my cigars in the evening and Djarum in the AM with coffee before going to work(and paying my taxes to these people who tell me what I can,and cannot smoke.)Just getting this off my chest,and hoping you all support Djarum as well. Keep smoking,Cheers

    • Chris McCoy says:

      I hope you all will help here,I’m posting this in hopes we can get way more than 1,000 signatures

      Dear Friends,

      I have just read and signed the petition: “Lift the ban on flavored cigarettes”.

      Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. We are trying to reach 1000 signatures – please sign here:

      Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.

      Thank you! Chris

  • Craig says:

    This is ridiculous. Clove cigarette purchases account for %.09 of tobacco sales in the u.s. Of the %20 of high schoolers who admit to smoking in the last month, only %6.8 have ever tasted a clove cigarette! They all smoke marlboros and newports! I will be purchasing cloves overseas. I’ll travel to get them if necessary.

  • Pamela DuBarry says:

    Anyone out there know a good source to get Djarum Specials shipped from outside the U.S.A.? This law is a joke. I’m 50 not 5. How many kids can really afford these? And I enjoy them a few a day, unlike my relatives and friends who smoke “regular” cigarettes 1-2 packs a day. They smell digusting….mine don’t!!

    • Chris McCoy says:

      Pamela,you can try some of the websites,but the FDA is now searching all packages coming from Indonesia.If you go to,you can voice your opinion there until Dec.28th.We need as many people to add comments as possible.Most of the dealers online will try to take every precaution to make sure your package makes it through customs,(they have their secrets)but you always run the risk of them getting seized.Usually a carton of Djarum is only 22-25 dollars,plus shipping,so that’s not bad,but again you run a risk of not getting them.Hope this helps,and good luck.Cheers

  • Sadly says:

    I don’t know why Djarum is taking this route. Those clove cigars are nothing like their cigarettes. I for one wouldn’t even consider smoking them having tried them once.

    This is plainly a Phillip Morris powerplay. ‘Studying’ menthols – give me a break. folks – if Ron Paul’s Dont Tread on Me ideals could catch on, we wouldnt need to wonder what’s next on the chopping block.

  • yfzstarr says:

    “If they banned menthols, that would be racist.”

  • redgar says:

    I have seen a few websites that sell Djarum Specials and Blacks overseas. Was wondering if anyone has ever bought from them. e-Tobacco, CigarWebService, and TobaccoOnline.Uk? I sent emails to all of them and they are all saying that they send to the US. I am still researching them before I send them my money.

    Does anyone know if there is a fight against this idiotic ban happening now? Is there any possible end on the horizon? I saw a photo of Obama enjoying a beer at a game in US mag. How many more kids drink beer and liquer than smoke. Many athletes will get drunk, but dare not touch a cigarette. But banning beer would affect him so he won’t do that. I lost a great deal of respect for him for taking away our right as adults to choose. Kids will smoke cigarettes and weed anyway.

    Its the parents responsiblity to see to it that they don’t smoke, not mine. They shouldn’t even be buying them anyway. If anyone has any info of something being done to end this ban, please let me know. Thanks.

    • Chris McCoy says:

      To redgar,
      I contacted my Governor in my state to voice my opinion.There is a few websites that have some info,but there are not many.I also signed a petition at,but not many have signed it,hence not many kids smoked cloves right?Try contacting the lawmakers in your state,and don’t give up.If we become silent about this,they win.As for ordering your smokes online,just be careful.I have succesfully received a shipment of Djarum Blacks,and had no problems.(I was sweating until they arrived) but enjoyed them that next morning.Most of the sites will try to get them to you,but as with anything there are some that will take the money,and run.Good luck to you,and keep fighting.

  • Ancient Pollyanna says:

    I can’t find ANYWHERE to import my Djarums!! Any ideas?

    • Jo says:

      friends are telling me that is the way to go. I know several who have gotten their orders and are quite please. They’re saying about three weeks turnaround. They have all the cigarettes except Bali Hai. I have no stake, just a recommendation from a fellow clove lover. I’ve been smoking the cigars which are available in the US but will soon order myself from the link.

  • MChernoff says:

    I live in California (land of fruits and nuts….politically)and could’t beleive it when my Special’s weren’t on the shelves anymore.
    Since then I have smoked the Blacks and the new Special cigars.
    They are close to the cigarettes and overall can handle it, but am looking oversea’s for the real deal again.
    I can’t stand the fact that the tobacco police (FDA) are getting away with all the B.S. that is surrounding people who smoke, anything.Incremental laws like this will push us all into a socialist corner soon and we’ll all stand up one day and wonder how it happened… you’re looking at it people.
    I hate them all- do-gooders/polititions/tobacco activists. DIE!


    • Chris McCoy says:

      Ah,the Specials are a good smoke,I like them almost as much as the Blacks.The Specials cigars are a bit harsh,but they do have a good taste.Luckily there is a convenient store in my town that has just about any kind of Djarum you can think of.I don’t know where he gets them,but I hope he keeps on!(Maybe he gets them sent from India or something!)He just has to know you to sell to you.I still say we can fight this idiotic law.I wrote to all my elected officials in my state,and actually the Governor wrote me back,he said take the fight to the Federals in Washington,and gave me some E-mail addresses.Needless to say I have not gotten any responses from them yet.Anyway just make your voice heard,and let them know we will not stand for this any longer. Cheers,Chris

  • nathan says:

    i got some from TobaccoOnline.Uk. they are smaller and have less cloves in them. very cigarette like. did not like them. wont order more.

  • M.C. Frey says:

    I am not a regular smoker, but I have always enjoyed the Djarum Black and other clove products. I am a 40 year old woman who enjoys fine. quality tobacco and was very dissapointed when I found the cigs were now cigars. They are decent in taste but not the same quality.I wish they could bring the cigs back with an additional warning that they are for consenting adults…this is crazy, what’s next pipe smoking will be out lawed, my Irish Great grandad would roll in his grave!!!

  • Kantiki says:

    It borders on the absurd to think that cloves are illegal. The fact that menthols escaped this litigation may as well be proof that the financial backers of the bill (e.g., Philip Morris) helped fund it as a way to destroy their competition in the alternative market. The crazy part is how many people went with the vote without any question (with exception to Ron Paul, who testified against the ban and against prohibition in general). I wish there was a place online to get updates on Djarums suit against the FDA as well as some place where people could add their support to the suit.

  • Luda Chris says:

    In a way…………you ALL deserve,for allmost a 100 years,Harrison drug act(1919,i believe)you have all set back passively as big brother,says(no you cant have that),”No!you cant have that either!”the only *thing* americans have said “up yours” to,and made your own*which the government obviously couldn’t tax* was beer,wine,other alcoholic beverages,other wise you buy their *dribble* hook,line@sinker@blindly obey w/out questioning or proof,well now than,we have had thousands of *too numerous,too keep track of,I have a horribly painfull disease but I have to suffer,because a certain government*group*has the physicians too terrified to prescribe what my body/mind needs(too just take the edge off)…Oh…but stupid me!!The government is basicaly saying “learn to live with the pain”and yet silly me,I believe I should get some pain relief……..yeah……..right!!!!