September 23, 2009

What's Next? Skinny Jeans?

The deeply ironic community of Emerson College was thrown into apathetic chaos today, as a new Food and Drug Administration regulation came into effect banning the sale of clove cigarettes nationwide.

The ban is a result of wide-ranging new powers granted to the FDA by President Obama, who signed the legislation in June. The agency is now able to regulate the sale and marketing of tobacco products — other than normal cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco — in the same way that it would with other products.

"I just… I just… I don't know what to do with myself anymore," said Emerson sophomore Panama Perkins-Smyth. "Now those fifteen minutes between 'Fundamentals of Gendered Communication' and 'Editing Animated Shorts' seem to stretch on and on into a giant, painful void." Perkins-Smyth added that she may have to take up writing poetry again.

The new regulations are intended to prevent youths from becoming smokers, as clove cigarettes (along with the other flavoured cigarettes subject to the ban) are generally more appealing to young smokers. According to the New York Times 17-year-olds are three times more likely to smoke flavoured cigarettes than smokers aged 25 or older.

It is a risky move by President Obama, whose catchy campaign slogans, media savvy, and overwhelmingly liberal stance on issues like gay marriage and the environment make clove-smoking hipster college students one of his prime demographics. In passing the law, Obama is taking a gamble that by the next election cycle those same students will have adopted new vices — such as root beer bongs and iPhone sex — and will therefore not hold the ban against him.

If the views of Emerson junior Florida Jones are anything to go by, however, the President may face an uphill battle. "I totally voted for Obama last year," said Jones, "and now he turns around and does this? I don't care how awesome his Twitter feed is — this is so completely uncool. Like, no we can't, man. Know what I'm saying?"

Others in the Emerson community, however, are pleased with the new law. "Now I can walk to work every day without having to pass through clouds of foul-smelling smoke," said an employee of a campus coffee shop. And a worker at a nearby Dunkin' Donuts seconded that feeling: "I said milk no sugar, you said YEAH! Now take your damn coffee, fool."

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