Earlier today, Americans for Tax Reform, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, the R St Institute, and the National Taxpayers Union concluded a joint meeting with The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a Division of the President’s Office of Management and Budget to express deep concerns about the Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to ban menthol cigarettes. The proposed ban is opposed by a coalition from all sides of politics, including taxpayer groups, consumer organizations, public health experts, civil liberty advocates, and social justice organizations.

“This proposal fails on every level. It refuses to address the costs, and falsely overinflates the benefits. It is based on fundamentally flawed principles and would have no public health benefit. It would come at great cost to taxpayers, businesses, and law enforcement, and it would benefit only international criminal syndicates. The Biden Administration needs to reject the failed prohibitionist policies of the past, and embrace evidence-based tobacco harm reduction policies” – Tim Andrews, Director of Consumer Issues, Americans for Tax Reform

“Banning products that are declining in use among adults, as well as essentially non-existent use among youth, while rejecting harm reduction is another example of America’s public health agency failing to do its job. Not only does the proposed ban fail to consider great declines in smoking rates, it also ignores wide-sweeping negative externalities that will have real impact on states and, most importantly, taxpayers who are forced to deal with increased costs of enforcing such a ban” – Lindsey Stroud, Director, Consumer Center, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

“Abstinence-only approaches do not work at a population level for any type of risky behavior. Where menthol prohibition has been tried, in Canada, California, and Massachusetts the evidence clearly shows it failed to reduce smoking rates. Policies that try to restrict behaviors via prohibition and criminalization are always followed by various unintended negative consequences.” – Dr Jeffrey S. Smith, Senior Fellow, Harm Reduction, R Street Institute

According to the Center for Disease Control’s National Youth Tobacco Survey fewer than 0.6% of students smoked menthol cigarettes, and independent analysis has shown it is likely to cost the federal government $1.9 billion and state governments a total of $4.7 billion in lost tax revenues.