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U.S. Ban on Clove Cigarettes Draws International Scrutiny

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U.S. lawmakers say they banned clove cigarettes because of their health risks and appeal to young smokers, but the World Trade Organization (WTO) is investigating whether the ban violated international free-trade agreements.

The Associated Press reported July 20 that Indonesia — where most clove cigarettes are made — has complained to the WTO about the U.S. ban on importing and selling the products. Indonesian officials noted that while U.S. law now prohibited cigarettes flavored with cloves, fruit, and candy, sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes are still permitted.

A WTO ruling on the ban is expected sometime in 2011.

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