Biden’s War On Tobacco Kills This Instead
(RightWing.org) – History repeatedly shows that every time the government attempts to regulate businesses and people’s lives, it ends up hurting more people than it helps. In the 1920s, the federal government outlawed the manufacturing and distribution of alcohol, and people became resentful. Restaurants closed as they couldn’t make a profit without the ability to sell liquor legally. Breweries, distilleries, and saloons went out of business along with thousands of good-paying jobs. Tax revenues decreased, and there was uneven enforcement of the law.
Fast forward a hundred years, and the government has another novel idea to protect you that is likely to backfire. The Biden administration plans to use the power of regulations to require cigarette makers to lower the nicotine content in all cigarettes. Critics argue that the good-intentioned rules could come with significant consequences.
Could Using the Power of the Government Backfire?
In the next few weeks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is expected to announce that the government will mandate that farmers and cigarette makers lower the amount of nicotine in a cigarette. The move is not unexpected; for several years, the FDA has been signaling it would move to make such a change.
In 2018, then-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the lengthy regulatory process of lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes. The FDA believes that less nicotine will make cigarettes less addictive and maybe even non-addictive. Gottlieb said the FDA’s action would be in the best health interest of the public.
The question is, is this really a good idea?
Could the Government Create Black Market for Stronger Cigarettes?
On Monday, June 20, Richard Marianos, a 27-year member of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), expressed numerous reservations about the administration’s policy to the Washington Free Beacon. Marianos argued that the shift in policy would lead to an unregulated tobacco boom from international sources. In turn, cigarettes would become a drug commodity sold by dealers.
Marianos said the black market is already selling cheaper, tax-free cigarettes. In one instance, an informant told the ATF agent some drug dealers make over $5,000 from cigarette sales in a single afternoon’s work. Instead of focusing on drugs that kill people quickly, Marianos said it would force law enforcement to pay more attention to cigarette sales instead of real drugs and violent crimes.
The move is part of President Joe Biden’s harm reduction strategy. Still, it may cause more harm than good. Not only would the black cigarette market explode, but some believe the nicotine reduction ban would have smokers smoking more to get the nicotine their bodies crave.
Altria is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States. It told the Washington Free Beacon that if the FDA follows through with its intentions, it could cause the tobacco industry to lose around 951,000 jobs and close as many as 45,000 businesses.
So, is the FDA really solving the problem, or is it just shifting it?
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