Americans For Tax Reform (ATR) today condemned President Biden for gross hypocrisy during the State of the Union speech where the President said “our goal is to cut the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years”, all while his Administration continues to pursue policies proven to ensure people keep smoking, and dying, from combustible tobacco.

“If President Biden was serious about cutting cancer, he would accept the science and take action to reduce smoking rates through proven harm reduction policies. Instead, Biden’s FDA is doing the exact opposite,” said Tim Andrews, ATR’s Director of Consumer Issues. “The evidence is clear – harm reduction works, prohibition doesn’t. But rather than help slash the number one leading cause of preventable cancer by helping people quit smoking through reduced risk alternatives, President Biden continues to seek prohibitions we not only know don’t work, but we also know will come with tragic consequences.”

“Reduced Risk tobacco alternatives such as vapor products, “heat not burn” devices, or oral nicotine such as snus or pouches, are proven to be at least 95% safer than combustible cigarettes. They have been endorsed by over 100 of the world’s leading public health organizations as an effective way to help smokers quit and are more effective than any other nicotine replacement therapy. Large-scale analysis from Georgetown University Medical Center estimates that 6.6 million American lives can be saved if most cigarette smokers switched to vaping. So why is Biden’s FDA rejecting the science and making it harder for adults to quit smoking by restricting adult access to vaping products – particularly when these restrictions have been proven to increase cigarette sales, and in particular increase youth smoking rates?

Rather than embrace tobacco harm reduction, the Biden Administration’s FDA is currently seeking to institute bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, a proposal condemned by civil rights and minority groups including the ACLU and Rev. Al Sharpton. Biden’s FDA is also proposing “a very low nicotine standard” that would effectively amount to a ban on almost all cigarettes currently on the market.

“Flavor bans, such as on menthol, have been proven time and again to have no impact on smoking rates whatsoever. Instead, they simply create a huge black market, hurting legitimate businesses and state government revenue, while increasing the chance for confrontation between law-enforcement and the most vulnerable in our country – with potentially tragic results. We learned 100 years ago with alcohol that prohibition doesn’t work. Does President Biden really want us to repeat that disaster?”

Andrews concluded: “ATR calls on President Biden to match his rhetoric on reducing cancer deaths with actions, and to replace the failed prohibitionist policies of the past with proven harm reduction policies.”