FDA Menthol Ban Will Spur Illicit Market, Worsen Racial Disparities in Criminal Justice

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The FDA today announced it will be banning menthol-flavored cigarettes and all flavors of cigars, with a proposal due out in the months ahead. CEI Senior Fellow Michelle Minton, a longtime critic of such prohibitions, criticized the FDA decision:

“In less than a month, the Biden administration has made it clear that they weren’t serious when they announced plans to ramp down the War on Drugs. Banning menthol cigarettes will be no more successful than any other drug prohibition, spurring a gigantic illicit market and turning menthol smokers—primarily black Americans—into criminals. They can pay lip-service to racial equity all they want, but this move by the FDA will do nothing but ensure the perpetuation of racial disparities in health and criminal justice.”

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