Last year, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would take steps to completely ban menthol-flavored cigarettes. This misguided proposal, though intended to benefit public health, fails to take into account any of the consequences of such a move, and as is opposed by experts on all sides of politics, as well as the law enforcement community and criminal justice advocacy organizations. Today, Americans for Tax Reform has signed a letter providing testimony for upcoming public hearings, citing the detrimental effects such legislation will have.
Menthol cigarettes are predominantly used in minority communities, which will see an uptick in crime as tobacco smugglers find opportunity within the new black market which the ban will create. Meanwhile, police enforcement of this statute will erode public trust in law enforcement as they waste time pursuing low-level offenses created as a result. The downstream effects on community trust and mass incarceration cannot be ignored
The full letter can be read here.