FreedomWorks Statement in Response to FDA’s Proposed Ban on Menthol Cigarettes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed ban on menthol cigarettes, Beverly McKittrick, Director of the Regulatory Action Center at FreedomWorks, commented:

“The FDA is, once again, considering a ban on menthol cigarettes. Without a doubt, smoking has serious health effects. Imposing an outright ban on a popular category of cigarettes will, however, do little to promote public health and result in a cascade of unintended consequences: a robust black market and consequent criminalization of consumers who, up until now, were using a legal product.

“Such a ban will divert law enforcement resources toward prosecuting behavior that harms no one but the individual who chooses to smoke. This ban also employs the heavy hand of government to deprive adults who choose to smoke and prefer menthol cigarettes of choice, infantilizing them in the process.

“Cigarette smoking continues to decline. Government’s resources should be focused on keeping cigarettes away from kids, facilitating the development of less-risky tobacco products, and ensuring the availability of smoking cessation products for smokers who want to quit. The FDA should focus on these tasks and stay out of the cigarette-banning business.”