Written by Austin Gergen
“I’m on the side of Big Tobacco.”
I never thought I would say anything anywhere near this sentence. But the FDA has overstepped its bounds once again. In a move said to “help save lives, particularly among those disproportionately affected by these deadly products” they promised to ban flavored the last legal flavor of cigarettes (menthol) as well as banning all flavored cigars.
The reason menthol is being targeted is because it is disproportionately consumed by black Americans, while most white Americans stick to unflavored cigarettes. However, by removing the option of menthol products, FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock (who is white) is removing the agency from these black Americans.
Now some people may not view this aass a big deal,. “So what” they might say, “it’s just cigarette flavors.” Let me remind you though that cops have killed people because of Draconian cigarette laws in New York City. In 2014, recall that Eric Garner died at the hands of an NYPD officer just because he was selling individual cigarettes.
There will be people who die because of this ban. If not from cops, then from the lower quality product they buy on the black market. If not from the cigarettes, then maybe from the harder drugs they turn to in the absence of their preferred consumable being available.
This is yet another example of Biden’s authoritarianism harming black Americans. Biden built his career on the war on drugs, so are we really surprised when his administration pushes even harder restrictions on drugs? I’m not, but the least we can do is call out authoritarianism when we see it, and remind people that Biden isn’t the benevolent old man: he is a dictator at heart. Biden’s administration is creating new laws without the legislature, and minorities are going to be the ones that pay.