The Food and Drug administration has announced that it will ban the manufacture of menthol cigarettes as part of a broader prohibition of flavored cigarettes, a policy that must be approved by President Biden.
The change is being hailed by some civil rights activists because of how black Americans were targeted by tobacco companies for decades via racist and manipulative advertising.
But banning black Americans’ preferred cigarette doesn’t win unanimous support among African-Americans, including people who recall that New York police killed Eric Garner for selling untaxed cigarettes.
The minty sensation of menthols have already been duplicated synthetically anyway so there’s also the question of whether the proposed ban would do anything meaningful other than upset black voters and older white women who like menthols during a time when Democrats need all the votes they can get to stop Donald Trump. Republicans are already buying up ads spreading word of the FDA’s potential action.
Join Kali and Matt for a bonus discussion about an issue that is more complicated than it may seem at first.