Good story from Jacob Grier:
No, the headline is not an April Fool’s joke. This week the FDA began its inquiry into whether it ought to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes:
A scientific advisory panel that will advise the Food and Drug Administration on regulating tobacco opened a two-day meeting Tuesday and began reviewing hundreds of published studies on menthol cigarettes. The panel, largely made up of scientists, physicians and public health experts, has a year to make a recommendation to the FDA on menthol cigarettes, which are used by about 26 percent of smokers and make up almost one-third of the $70 billion U.S. cigarette market.
This is a dangerous road. It’s one thing to forbid sales to minors, to tax tobacco, to require warning labels, and to restrict the sorts of places where one can light up. It’s quite another to take a product off the market simply because many people prefer it. That is pure paternalism; take individual agency out of the picture and it’s a much smaller step to banning tobacco entirely.
These scare tactics neglect to mention that menthol itself is harmless. It’s not habit-forming like nicotine. It’s not dangerous and is used widely in medicinal, dental, and food products. Tobacco companies don’t put it in cigarettes as part of a dark conspiracy to addict people. They use it because it tastes good, is soothing, and consumers want it.
If this is accepted as a legitimate reason to ban menthol cigarettes there’s no limit to what the government could do next. It could ban other forms of flavored tobacco in cigars, pipes, chew, and hookahs — in fact, New York City has already passed a low doing almost exactly that.
HAT TIP to Jacob Grier who is on the job- take a look at the full story at:
Here is a look at Hot Air on what is coming! http://hotair.com/archives/2010/04/01/exclusive-the-new-federal-menu-mandate-meets-the-real-world/