Today's Date: September 22, 2021
Mombox Introduces World's First 12-Month Postnatal Subscription Box to Support New Moms Throughout the First Year of Motherhood   •   Medtronic Begins Pediatric Clinical Trial of Spinal Tether for Treatment of Scoliosis   •   Carvana Brings The New Way to Buy a Car® to Joplin   •   Ryan Named One of the 2021 Best Workplaces for Women by FORTUNE and Great Place to Work   •   Skills Training Nonprofit Launches Coaching Program to Help Opportunity Youth Transition to the Workforce   •   PCOS Challenge Hosts PCOS Awareness Symposium in Philadelphia as Part of Major Global Awareness Month Campaign   •   The Stuttering Association for the Young Shines a "Spotlight" on Kids Who Stutter in Powerful New PSA   •   American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. Launches AE77, an Artfully Designed and Sustainably Crafted Premium Denim Brand   •   LER TechForce Announces New Military Program and Expands International Reach   •   Sontiq® Offers Public Education Resource to Address Pandemic-inspired Changes in Cyber Threat Landscape   •   Nia Tero And 8 Private Foundations Announce 'Protecting Our Planet Challenge'   •   African-American History Courses Available at No Cost to High School Students in Florida and Texas for the 2021-2022 School Year   •   Dave & Buster’s Introduces First-of-Its Kind NFT + Digital Collectible   •   New York Times Best-selling Author Begins Florida Lecture Series With Humorous Talk   •   HITEC Announces the 100 Most Influential Hispanic Leaders in Technology for 2022   •   Fiverr Announces Inaugural Future Collective, a Business Accelerator Fellowship for Black Entrepreneurs   •   People en Español Announces "Festival En Casa," a Virtual Event Celebration Filled with Entertainment & Inspiration   •   Hims & Hers Expands Customizable, Compounded Skincare Offerings With Hims Overnight Anti-Aging Duo, Hers Clear Skin System   •   Susan G. Komen® Spotlights Partners and Products for Consumers Looking to Make a Difference in the Fight Against Breast Canc   •   ThirdLove Enters the Active Market After Years of Customer Demand
Bookmark and Share

The War On Menthol Cigarettes

Commentary by Project 21, A conservative Black Organization 



WASHINGTON - Last year, not long after the Food and Drug Administration got legislative authority to regulate tobacco, “flavored” cigarettes were banned — on behalf of the children.

This was largely a publicity stunt since Twista Lime, Kauai Kolada and other flavored cigarettes made up less than one percent of the cigarette market and manufacturers had largely scaled back their production of flavored cigarettes by the time the FDA announced the ban.

Now the FDA is embarking on something more ambitious: Going after menthol cigarettes.

Perhaps the attack on flavored cigarettes was a practice run, because the stakes are much higher now.  In going after menthol cigarettes, the government seeks to outlaw 30 percent of the current cigarette market.

As with flavored cigarettes, proponents of a ban say the cool menthol taste hooks people on smoking.  This time around, in addition to saying that menthol targets kids, critics are also throwing the race card into the mix because menthols are the preferred cigarettes of roughly three-quarters of black smokers.

This coming war on menthol is a study in contradictions that will affect all Americans regardless of race and whether they smoke.

First and foremost, this 21st century attempt at Prohibition will be a boon for smugglers.  Cigarettes are already recognized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as the likely “number-one black market commodity in the world.”

Cigarette smuggling — now largely focused on avoiding the many taxes imposed on tobacco — already got a boost in the late ‘90s when additional fees were added to comply with the tobacco industry’s settlement deal with state attorneys general.  If menthol cigarettes are banned entirely, a new and extremely lucrative market will open up.

According to the ATF, more than $100,000 can be made right now from just a simple minivan full of contraband cigarettes smuggled into New York City.  This puts money into the hands of the mob and even would-be terrorists while simultaneously depriving straining governments of tax revenue.

By the way, the Lorillard Tobacco Company, which sells these cigarettes, estimates that outlawing menthol cigarettes would reduce state and federal tax revenues by approximately $40 billion.

Don’t forget that someone selling homemade or smuggled menthol cigarettes out of the trunk of a car is also probably not very concerned about asking for proof of age.  This means that creating a new underground market for cigarettes could conceivably increase underage access to tobacco products.

And don’t expect these smuggled smokes will undergo quality checks that their currently legal counterparts face.

Then there’s the race card.

The NAACP supports a ban on menthol cigarettes.  In October, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund president John Payton called it a “national disgrace and a tragedy” that menthol cigarettes are allegedly disproportionally marketed to blacks.

Yet the NAACP’s California State Conference gave its “unconditional endorsement” to California’s Proposition 19 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana use.  Again citing disproportionality, Conference president Alice Huffman called legalizing pot a civil rights issue because of an alleged disproportionate prosecution of black pot users and dealers — a criticism echoed by the national group’s vice president, Hilary O. Shelton.

NAACP support for Proposition 19, which failed overwhelmingly, creates a double standard.  For example, a review of 90 previously-published reports by the British Lung Foundation noted that three marijuana “joints” a day can be as damaging as 20 tobacco cigarettes.  Marijuana tar is 50 percent more cancerous and its key ingredient hurts lung immune systems.

Quite simply, the NAACP can’t be both pro-pot and anti-tobacco when it comes to health issues.

For decades, people have been warned about the potential dangers of tobacco.  Tobacco use is a choice, but the government and its supporters are trying to take the freedom away from people.  In doing so, they now threaten to open a Pandora’s box of problems.


STORY TAGS: Project 21 , menthol cigarettes , Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News