Sunday, November 5, 2023

Joe Biden Might Ban Menthol Cigarettes and It Could Backfire; Menthol Ban Would Boost $$ Incentive for Cartels; Biden’s Tobacco Bans will Push People to Buy Cartel Cigarettes by the Carton

Joe Biden Might Ban Menthol Cigarettes and It Could Backfire:
Biden May Ban Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars – In a significant move aimed at curbing tobacco consumption, the Biden administration is pushing forward with a proposal that could ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. This long-anticipated rule, currently under White House review after receiving the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval, marks a historic moment in the regulation of tobacco products and could save countless lives. The ban, if implemented, is expected to have a substantial impact on public health, particularly among Black Americans.
Menthol-flavored cigarettes have long been a contentious issue due to their perceived role in promoting addiction and their adverse impact on minority communities. A staggering 85 percent of Black smokers use menthol cigarettes, according to the FDA, compared to only 30 percent of white smokers. Furthermore, it is estimated that approximately 40 percent of excess deaths attributable to menthol cigarette smoking between 1980 and 2018 were among African Americans.
The ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars is not a novel concept, as multiple administrations have previously considered such measures. However, the Biden administration is the first to take concrete steps despite facing significant pressure from the tobacco industry. Advocates are urging the administration to expedite the finalization of these rules by the end of the year.
Menthol-flavored cigarettes have consistently represented a significant portion of cigarette sales in the United States, accounting for more than a third of all sales in 2021, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This makes it the highest proportion since major tobacco companies were first required to disclose this information to the federal government in 1963.
The menthol additive in cigarettes has long been known to make them more addictive. By creating a cooling sensation in the throat and airways, menthol can make smoking feel less harsh and easier to inhale. Despite the 2009 ban on flavored cigarettes, menthol cigarettes were exempted, and the FDA was tasked with determining whether they posed a risk to public health. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
Rivas: Menthol ban would boost $$ incentive for cartels:
International commerce flowing across the border between the United States and Mexico is a shared responsibility between our two nations and an important area of focus for our collective long-term prosperity. As such, news of President Joe Biden’s plans to finalize a ban on menthol cigarettes is a source of great concern.
Powerful Mexican cartels, sophisticated multibillion-dollar criminal enterprises, are already trafficking illicit tobacco to fund their violent operations. The current regulated market for menthol cigarettes is $30 billion. A nationwide prohibition on menthols will create a tremendous profit incentive for these cartels to become more aggressive in their activity.
As the General Director of the National Citizen Observatory of Security, Justice and Legality A.C. (ONC), and a National Security Council of Mexico member, I know what the cartels are capable of. These high-tech, organized crime networks continue to innovate and diversify beyond drugs and weapons. They evolve into new products and industries where they can capitalize on growing demand while also minimizing risk.
Over the past few years, the illicit tobacco market has allowed these criminal networks to generate massive revenue – rivaling narcotics – with a fraction of the risk. The sale of illegal cigarettes is already a multibillion-dollar market in the U.S. Criminal networks profit from the price and tax disparities between states. Increasing the transborder traffic of contraband cigarettes from Mexico into the U.S. should give policymakers pause.
The cartels know better than most that tobacco restrictions like bans or taxes won’t reduce consumer demand for an addictive product. So, when states like California ban menthol cigarettes and legitimate retailers are prohibited from selling products to meet consumer demand, the opportunistic cartels quickly become the suppliers of choice. --->READ MORE HERE

+++++Joe Biden’s tobacco bans will push people to buy cartel cigarettes by the carton+++++

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