The FDA, which is run by President Biden, wants to ban menthol cigarettes. This comes after the FDA pushed for safe crack pipe sales and marijuana change.
The FDA has finally put forward its long-awaited plan to ban menthol cigarettes. Several public health groups think that this could make black neighborhoods better and keep younger Americans from smoking. A lot of people think that menthol cigarettes are more addicting than regular cigarettes.
Tobacco makers say there isn’t a straight connection between using menthol cigarettes and starting to smoke or even becoming more dependent on cigarettes. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), black leaders, as well as other groups with similar views have said they are worried that a ban on menthol might give rise to more police presence in black neighborhoods.
The Biden government is still policing menthol-flavored cigarettes, but it has also taken actions that some people think are wrong to make it easier for people to get drug paraphernalia and to find secure locations to use drugs.
A thirty million dollar grant program was launched by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in fiscal year 2022 to support local governments and NGOs in their efforts to help addicts use drugs in a safer manner. A government spokesman stated to the Washington Free Beacon that funds would pay for pipes so people could smoke crack cocaine, crystal meth, or even “any illicit substance.”
A study exploring whether “safe injection sites”—locations where drug users can use heroin and other illicit narcotics and can be revived if they consume too much—can avoid overdoses was made possible by a $5 million grant to the University of New York as well as Brown University.
Biden has also tried to get people who were guilty of federal marijuana possession overturned, and he has asked states to take steps to do the same. He has also tried to change how marijuana is classified under federal law.
The prohibition on menthol tobacco will strengthen the illicit market for cigarettes, according to a letter from Jeffrey Singer, a senior scholar at the libertarian-leaning CATO Institute:
“I said in my remarks that the National Survey regarding Drug Use and Health showed that in 2020, 51% of Hispanic smokers and 81% of Black smokers chose menthol-flavored cigarettes. Although the goal of the proposed rule is to lessen the disparities in tobacco-related health outcomes that affect Black and Brown communities, a closer examination of the data on menthol cigarettes and the results of the European Union’s menthol ban point to the proposed product standard’s failure and likelihood of fostering a black market. What’s even worse is that the ban could make unfair criminal justice even worse.”
Singer made his case by citing several studies:
- It is said that menthol cigarettes “may be less harmful than cigarettes that don’t have menthol.”
- People who smoke menthol cigarettes are less likely to die from cancer than people who smoke other kinds of cigarettes.
- Even though the ban is meant to get teens to smoke less, 60% of teens who do smoke still smoke non-menthol cigarettes.
“Unfortunately, it looks like the menthol ban train has already sped off. This means greater business opportunities for people who sell things on the black market, like drugs, cigarettes, and cigars,” he said.
“If past events are any indication,” Singer said, “we should anticipate a great deal of negative unintended consequences.”