Menthol Smokes are Racist; Al Sharpton Barks, Joe Biden Jumps

Joe Biden made an awful lot of noise about banning menthol cigarettes. Well, that was until certain Poverty Pimps decided that the very same ban is somehow racist.

Of course, the list of usual suspects is reliably the same old professional race baiters;

  • The ACLU
  • The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
  • Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network

Reliably, once the Klan with a Tan barked, Biden jumped.

Just me, but I’d be willing to bet that Biden only asked two questions;

  1. How high?
  2. When can I come down?

With that aside, in a rather interesting article from WMAY out of Springfield, IL;

The Biden administration is putting off its plan to ban menthol cigarettes until next March after an aggressive lobbying push by civil rights groups — some sponsored by Big Tobacco — who argued a ban would unfairly target Black smokers.

The delay, acknowledged in an online posting Wednesday, is a major defeat for health advocates who have been pushing for years to limit access to menthol cigarettes, which are aggressively marketed in Black communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, menthol can enhance the addictive effects of cigarettes and make it harder to quit.

“We can’t reduce tobacco use and associated disease and death without eliminating menthol as a flavor. That’s really the next step,” said Chrissie Juliano, executive director of the Big Cities Health Coalition, which represents city health departments across the country.

The Biden administration had seemed on board with restricting the sale of menthol cigarettes, with the Food and Drug Administration proposing the ban in April 2022. A final rule was supposed to be released in August. When a final rule was sent to the White House budget office this fall, advocates believed they were close to the finish line.

But in private phone calls, civil rights groups including the ACLU; the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, or NOBLE; and Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network warned the White House against the plan, with some officials suggesting that a regulatory crackdown could harm President Joe Biden’s reelection chances with Black voters.

A senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivities involved, confirmed that the delay was the result of those conversations.

Sharpton’s National Action Network says it participated in phone calls with the White House because it believes the menthol ban would have unintended consequences. A spokesperson did not answer questions about whether tobacco companies sponsor the organization.

“National Action Network has taken the position that, unless there are real safeguards against criminal prosecution of Black and Brown communities, the proposed menthol ban will have unintended consequences,” according to a statement shared with ABC News. “This position was taken after working with Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner; attorney Ben Crump; and the ACLU. NAN is also not opposed to a ban on all cigarettes.” (Eric Garner, a 43-year-old Black man, died in 2014 after being placed in a police chokehold while being arrested on Staten Island in a dispute over selling loose cigarettes.)