S02E09 – Should the federal government ban menthol cigarettes?

In another short episode, we discuss a recent proposal by the FDA to ban menthol cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes are more addictive than regular cigarettes, and they are the most common type of cigarette smoked by Black Americans. Josh argues that banning drugs is rarely a successful approach and agrees with the concerns raised by many Black smokers that this will essentially criminalize behavior that is more common among Black individuals, resulting in the criminalization of Black individuals in the US. Ryan pushes Josh and Tom on whether it is the federal government’s responsibility to restrict harmful substances. In general, we all agree that it is the responsibility of the FDA to regulate harmful substances, but we ultimately conclude that smoking rates are declining through existing measures and that this specific ban does not seem to make a lot of sense.

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