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President Biden’s FDA is pushing for a ban on menthol cigarettes, claiming it could benefit black communities and deter young people from smoking.
Biden also wants the federal government to distribute “safe crack pipes” and pass “marijuana reform.”
Tobacco companies argue that there is no direct link between menthol cigarettes and increased smoking or dependence. (Trending: Joe Biden Does the Unthinkable For Hamas)
However, concerns have been raised by black leaders and the ACLU that a menthol ban could lead to increased policing in black communities.
In contrast, the Biden administration has made controversial moves to increase access to drug paraphernalia and safe places for drug use.
They have initiated a grant program to provide crack pipes and fund investigations into safe injection sites.
Biden has also pardoned those convicted of marijuana possession and reviewed federal marijuana laws. (Trending: Biden Official Caught Working For Terrorists)
Critics argue that the menthol ban will create a stronger black market for cigarettes and may have unintended consequences.
Jeffrey Singer, a senior fellow at the libertarian-leaning CATO Institute, said, “According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2020, 81 percent of Black and 51 percent of Hispanic smokers preferred menthol-flavored cigarettes.”
“While the proposed rule is intended to reduce tobacco-related health outcome disparities in Black and Brown communities, a closer look at the data on menthol cigarettes, as well as the European Union’s experience with a menthol ban, suggest that the proposed product standard will not work, and will likely foster a black market. Perhaps even worse, the ban might further aggravate criminal justice inequities,” he added.
Citing various studies, Singer argued:
• Menthol cigarettes “are no more, and perhaps less, harmful than non-menthol cigarettes.”
• Menthol cigarette smokers have a lower cancer mortality risk than non-menthol cigarette smokers.
• Despite the ban focusing on lowering teenage use of cigarettes, 60 percent of teen smokers smoke non-menthol cigarettes.
“Sadly, it appears the menthol‐ban train has already left the station. This means more business opportunities for purveyors of black market products—ranging from illicit drugs to cigars and cigarettes,” he added.“And if history teaches us anything, we can expect to witness many harmful unintended consequences,” Singer concluded.