Americans for Tax Reform invites you to attend a virtual briefing this WEDNESDAY with policy & law enforcement experts on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent announcement to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.

This proposal is opposed by experts and advocacy groups on all sides of the political spectrum, including the American Council on Civil Liberties (ACLU), Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, the National Black Justice Coalition, Americans for Tax Reform, Americans for Prosperity, and Heritage Action for America. 

Topics covered will include the science and evidence (or lack thereof) underpinning the ban, the disastrous implications for law enforcement and vulnerable minority populations, the consequences of a thriving black market, and alternative, proven methods of tobacco harm reduction the FDA should be enacting instead of prohibition. Americans for Tax Reform’s Press Release on the FDA announcement can be found here, an earlier coalition letter led by Americans for Tax Reform and signed by 36 organizations may be found here, and an earlier coalition letter led by the ACLU and signed by 27 organizations can be found here.

Time: 1:00pm Eastern

Date: Wednesday May, 4th

Venue: Virtual

RSVP: [email protected]

Tim Andrews (Moderator): Tim Andrews is the Director of Consumer Issues at Americans for Tax Reform & the Tholos Foundation, where he focusses on combating government’s attempts to over-tax and over-regulate consumer goods, and is the former Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Protection Alliance and the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. He holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Laws, and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Sydney, and is also a member of the UK Taxpayers Alliance Advisory Council.

Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.): Major Neill Franklin is the former Executive Director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, and a 34-year law enforcement veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department. After 23 years of dedicated service to the Maryland State Police, he was recruited in 2000 by the Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department to reconstruct and command Baltimore’s Education and Training Section. While serving as a Narcotics Agent with the Maryland State Police, Maj. Franklin was persuaded by then-mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke, who declared that the War on Drugs was counterproductive and created excessive violence. He retired from policing in 2010 to lead the Law Enforcement Action Partnership as executive director.

 Lindsey Stroud: Lindsey Stroud is Director of TPA’s Consumer Center, which provides data and analysis to inform and assist policymakers when addressing consumer products. Stroud’s main focus is on providing up-to-date information on adult access to goods including alcohol, tobacco and vapor products, as well as regulatory policies that affect adult access to other consumer products, including harm reduction, technology, innovation, antitrust and privacy. Prior, Stroud was a state government relations manager at The Heartland Institute and as a staffer for state lawmakers in Minnesota and Virginia. In addition to her role at TPA, Stroud is the creator and manager of Tobacco Harm Reduction 101 ( and a board director for the American Vapors Manufacturers Association and a visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum. Stroud received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Government from the College of William and Mary.

Guy Bentley: Guy Bentley is the Director of Consumer Freedom at the Reason Foundation. Bentley’s research focuses on the taxation and regulation of nicotine, tobacco, alcohol, and food. Before joining Reason Foundation, he served as a reporter in London and Washington D.C. Bentley’s work has been featured in The Washington PostUSA TodayForbesTimeBusiness InsiderThe Daily BeastThe New York Post, and other publications in the U.S. and U.K. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations from the University of Nottingham 

Yael Ossowski: Yaël Ossowski is a writer, radio host, and deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center. Since 2010, he has worked as a journalist and grassroots organizer in Europe and North America. He was previously’s Florida Bureau Chief, chief Spanish translator, and national investigative reporter from 2012-2015. Yaël is co-host of the internationally-syndicated Consumer Choice Radio on WFBT Big Talker 106.7FM in Wilmington, North Carolina and Sauga 960AM in the Peel Region of Ontario, Canada. 

Please do not hesitate to contact Tim Andrews, Director of Consumer Issues at Americans for Tax Reform, on [email protected] if you have any further questions, and we look forward to you joining this Wednesday’s virtual briefing.