Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good news for now

It's good someone else out there sees the discrimination towards me as a Black smoker when it comes to banning menthols. The best way to stop "us" from smoking is by banning menthols, right? Wrong! While some Blacks may quit, some will look into making menthols. Some may look into getting menthols from otha countries. Some may even switch to smoking weed for good which is really bad. Growing your own menthol tobacco is an option too.

Based on how good antis made menthols sound before (Menthols are more addictive, menthols have crystals in em, most of the menthol smokers are Blacks, etc), me surprised they wanna ban menthols period.

Based on their Fin illogic, leave the menthols alone so they can watch me die from smoking those cigs. If they hate us so much, let us smoke the "dangerous" menthols so we can die peacefully. LOL....a-holes!

You can keep on dreaming if you think smoking menthols for decades is a good way to commit suicide!

http://tinyurl. com/6487eb

Bill to Give FDA Jurisdiction over Cigarettes Bill Dying or Dead for
Now // Menthol Manipulation, Racism or Racial Implications, Only
Latest Problems for the Beleaguered Bill

John F. Banzhaf III, Professor of Public Interest Law, George
Washington University Law school
2008-07-17 21:12:58 - The bill to give the Food and Drug
Administration [FDA] authority to regulate cigarettes appears to be
dying, at least in this Congress, according to a number of sources
and for a variety of reasons, says Action on Smoking and Health
(ASH), America's first antismoking organization.

FDA Week admits that "the bill's future is entirely unsure,"
especially in the Senate, where Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has vowed
to block it.

But the publication also cited other major problems the bill faces:

* "jurisdictional objections" by Natural Resources Chair Nick Rahall
(D-WV) (over Native American reservations) , and by House Ways and
Means Chair Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Appropriations
Chair David Obey (D-WI) (over user fee provisions)

* "The Congressional Black Caucus has also raised concerns about the
bill's treatment of menthol cigarettes."

* "the health of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), the leading Senate

* testimony by FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, approved by
the Office of Management and Budget, that the FDA doesn't want to
regulate tobacco [as well as a veto threat by President Bush]

A leading tobacco blog reports that "Support for FDA Tobacco
Legislation Continues to Crumble," citing two additional antismoking
organizations which have just come out against the bill in its
present form.

The blog also cited an editorial in "Black America's Daily News
Source" which highlights the racial implications of prohibiting
virtually all other flavorings in cigarettes but specifically
exempting menthol.

Indeed, this is a theme which has resonated with many media sources
reporting to Black America. For example:

Menthol Exemption Called Risky for Black Smokers, Final Call News:

'If we're banning things such as clove and peppermint, then we should
ban menthol,' said Dr. Louis Sullivan. 'If it doesn't happen, this
bill will be discriminatory against African-Americans. ' 'The
(menthol) exemption harms the Black community,' said Robert McCaffree
of the American College of Chest Physicians. . . . William S.
Robinson, director of the African American Tobacco Prevention
Network, said his group firmly believes a better tobacco control bill
could be drafted without the support of Philip Morris, which produces
a high number of menthol brand cigarettes."

Restrictions Sought on Menthol Cigarettes, Chicago Defender:

"Black lawmakers are pushing for more government regulation of
tobacco, starting with changes to a House bill that would place a ban
on menthol cigarettes. The Congressional Black Caucus, along with the
National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and other
organizations, is leading the movement to make changes to a provision
in the bill, entitled the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco
Control Act, that bans additives like cinnamon, clove and other
fruit, spice and candy flavors in cigarettes but exempts menthols.
Many believe that the exclusion of menthol from the Act is racially
charged since mostly African Americans smoke menthol cigarettes."

The menthol loophole was originally seen as racist by the
Congressional Black Caucus and many former HHS Secretaries.

For example, former HHH Secretary (and former ASH Trustee) Dr. Louis
Sullivan charged that:

"This loophole especially undermines the health of African-
Americans," and that "the bill caves to the financial interests of
tobacco companies and discriminates against African Americans-the
segment of our population at greatest risk for the killing and
crippling smoking-related diseases. It sends a message that African
American youngsters are valued less than white youngsters."

The concerns about the racial implications of the menthol loophole
have just been exacerbated by a new study showing that cigarette
makers deliberately manipulated levels of menthol -- just as they
previously manipulated levels of nicotine -- so as to attract young
(especially Black) smokers (by masking the initial harsh taste of
smoke) as well as to increase the hold on established smokers.

Many if not most of the news articles emphasized the racial impact.
For example:

Tobacco Industry Manipulated Cigarette Menthol Content To Recruit New
Smokers Among Young People, Science Daily:

"The researchers noted that race was also a factor in use and brand
choice, with African Americans as a whole more likely to use menthol
brands. . . . Earlier HSPH research described industry efforts to
target African Americans with menthol brands."

Big Tobacco Lures Young Smokers With Menthol Cigarettes: Study, US
News & World Report:

"Tobacco companies are manipulating menthol levels in cigarettes to
appeal to newer, younger smokers, part of a deliberate strategy to
get younger people, particularly African -Americans, hooked, a new
study contends. 'Menthol is being used as a candy to help the toxin
go down"

In addition, ASH has learned that former HHH Secretaries Louis
Sullivan and Joe Califano, as well as William Robinson, Executive
Director, National African American Tobacco Prevention Network, met
privately with the bill's principal House sponsor, Rep. Henry Waxman
[D-CA], to urge him not to support the bill with the menthol

They followed up their meeting with a very strong letter which said
in part:

"We want to reiterate our view that the current version of the bill,
which gives menthol a protected status, would have the effect of
discriminating against the health interests of African Americans and,
as such, the bill devalues the health of African Americans. . . .
Given the history of big tobacco's targeted marketing of menthol
cigarettes to African Americans, it is unconscionable to let Philip
Morris (or any other tobacco company) have a provision in law that
protects their ability to continue to exploit African American teens,
while the same law protects other teens from being seduced into
smoking, by banning other flavorings."

Banzhaf notes that delaying the bill until the next Congress to
remove the racially-charged menthol loophole would actually
strengthen it in other ways as well.

After January, the bill will not face the veto threat from President
Bush which seems to have forced proponents to make many concessions
to Philip Morris, as well to those who oppose regulation, in order to
obtain the votes necessary to overcome a veto.

It also would face a Congress less adverse to governmental
regulation, and more willing to pass a strong bill which can be
effective in protecting the public health.

Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor
FELLOW, World Technology Network
2013 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA
(202) 659-4312 // (703) 527-8418