As with all failure-ridden Biden-era-proposals, this one is loaded with unintended consequences
Proving that there is no aspect of life that the bungling bureaucrats in the Biden administration can’t over-regulate, there are now plans to force cigarette companies to reduce the level of nicotine in their products.
The Biden administration is moving forward on a plan to mandate the elimination of nearly all nicotine in cigarettes, a policy that would upend the $95 billion U.S. cigarette industry and, health officials say, prompt millions of people to quit smoking.
The plan, unveiled Tuesday as part of the administration’s agenda of regulatory actions, likely wouldn’t take effect for several years. The Food and Drug Administration plans to publish a proposed rule in May 2023. Then it would invite public comments before publishing a final rule. Tobacco companies could then sue, which could further delay the policy’s implementation.
…The policy would apply to all cigarettes sold in the U.S. Imports of traditional cigarettes would be barred but multinational tobacco companies could continue to sell full-nicotine cigarettes in other countries. New Zealand’s Ministry of Health also has proposed a reduction of nicotine in cigarettes to very low levels as part of a broader plan to curb smoking.
However, there is a long way to go before this inane proposal becomes a final rule.
The decision to pursue a policy to lower nicotine levels marks the first step in a lengthy process, and success is not assured. It could take at least a year for the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates cigarettes, to issue a proposed rule, experts say. After that, the FDA would have to sift through comments from the public before issuing a final rule.
Opposition could delay or derail the effort — especially if the regulation was not completed before Biden left office. A president elected in 2024 could tell the FDA to stop work on an unfinished rule. The tobacco industry, which is sure to be fiercely opposed to such a drastic change in its products, could challenge a final regulation in court.
The proposed rule is set to be published in May 2023. In fact, when one actually reads the intended rules, it appears that most cigarettes would be banned in the United States.
One critic compared the idea to alcohol prohibition, especially when combined with the FDA seeking a ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes.
“In practical terms, the proposal would ban most cigarettes currently sold in America,” Guy Bentley, director of consumer freedom at the libertarian Reason Foundation, told the newspaper.
And as with all failure-ridden Biden-era-proposals, this one is loaded with unintended consequences.
Richard Marianos, a 27-year veteran of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, said these regulations will shift the demand for cigarettes toward unregulated tobacco grown internationally, which is then purchased and sold by drug dealers.
“The problem again with this administration is they do not take into consideration a totality of subject matter experts,” Marianos told the Washington Free Beacon. “I’ve never seen this much foolishness in my life.”
Marianos, who worked on gang violence at the ATF, said the black market for cigarettes is dominated by street gangs and would grow at least a hundredfold after the FDA implements its nicotine decision. He claims one of his former informants discovered some dealers make $5,000 selling cigarettes in a single afternoon. The FDA’s “uneducated and silly” cigarette plan, he said, would require law enforcement to focus on tobacco sales rather than drugs and violent crime.
Nobody doubts the serious health effects associated with smoking. However, consumers who use this product are fully warned of its dangers…starting at a very early age. There is a reason those who smoke do so, despite the warning ans the myriad of rules where they may do so.
Perhaps Biden’s next move will the reduce the level of caffeine in coffee, alcohol in beer, and joy in life?DONATE
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