@Akasazh@feddit.nl avatar

They banned menthols where I live. They now sell cigarettes with hollow filters and menthol filters that fit said slots separately.


Brilliant! Lolol. Menthol is still nasty though(cigarettes ain’t no better)


Capitalism breeds innovation, I guess?


It’s insane that cigarettes are still sold in the first place.

@dantheclamman@lemmy.world avatar

We’ve seen over and over that Prohibition doesn’t work and often backfires, but as someone who lost a father to a stubborn tobacco addiction, I’m in favor of anything to nudge people to quit. Make tobacco absolutely suck to use. Ban flavors. Tax the shit out of it and subsidize nicotine gum+patches. Ban filters, which don’t actually make them safer (they actually allow smokers to inhale the contaminants more deeply) and fill our environment with plastic pollution. Get rid of all branding on boxes.


Tax the shit out of it

They already are. It’s like $100 a carton here but people still buy them. That’s insane to me. When i quit they were around $20 a carton.

@dantheclamman@lemmy.world avatar

I feel like it still doesn’t make up for their societal cost in terms of lost years of life, increased insurance premiums and pollution


Prohibition doesn’t work, but I would like to see limits placed on where they can be sold, just like we have in many places with legalized cannabis. Make them only able to be sold in a dispensary. Make it so they can’t be sold within a certain distance from schools. Continue to tax the shit out of them. The only nicotine products that should be sellable outside of tobacco dispensaries should be products aimed specifically at cessation such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches.

Vapes should also be similarly regulated, and I say this as a person who vapes. I go to a vape shop for my juice and supplies. I vape a refillable mod, not a disposable pod thing, which are sadly so popular nowadays. I am aiming to cease vaping soon. (Last time I quit nicotine, I was clean for 7 years, but when Roe v Wade was overturned, that night I bought a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of vodka, and went on a bender while wallowing in despair. Not a good time and well, nicotine is hard to kick after even just a few smokes, especially for someone who previously had the habit.)

Anyway. There are controls that would have a positive impact without being full-on prohibition.


You would rather have people smoking black market sigarettes that might be even more toxic than the regular kind?I also hate big tobacco but banning sigarettes will just replace a regulated market with a unregulated one.


Baby, capitalism has rotted your brain.


I’d push for you to have to get a license to buy tobacco products and only issue that license to current users. (Much like a medical MJ license).

Just a small amount of hassle to hopefully prevent new smokers.

Ecigs make your point. Smoking was almost eliminated with millennials, gen z and younger are addicts because of that evil product.

@Akasazh@feddit.nl avatar

Dat tax revenue though. New Zealand just reversed it’s radical generational smoking ban, because of the money.

@AnUnusualRelic@lemmy.world avatar

Just ban cigarettes and raise taxes, easy.

@Akasazh@feddit.nl avatar

But what if we raise taxes and raise taxes on cigarettes?

Most gouvernements, somehow


The argument against banning menthols that I’ve read was that banning menthols infantilizes black people and takes away their right to autonomy. That feels like an attempt at shifting discourse away from the tobacco industry who created a slightly more addictive cigarette.


I’d love to hear the black community’s take on this. It smells racist, but I’m not sure. I think you’re right that they’re trying to take the angle that they’re trying to help the black population instead of focusing on the tobacco industry as a whole.


I think I’m out of the loop. Menthols are a black people thing?


The reply after yours offers a fascinating condensed history, if you’re interested in reading about it.

@killeronthecorner@lemmy.world avatar

In my country they are something old women smoke


This is a subject I know a bit about.

It is commonly felt that menthol makes cigarettes more comfortable to smoke. This was particularly important for cigarettes that used cheaper (and harsher) tobacco. However, it also allowed menthol cigarettes to be sold for less money. This lead to a popularity of menthol cigarettes in the black communities in the US in the 40s and 50s, when extreme racism drove much of US politics and economics, and thus a perpetually underemployed and underpaid underclass.

So then the civil rights war was started, and saw the emergence of a self-concept in some of the black communities of being an accepted part of American middle class culture. You remember the Jefferson’s theme song Movin’ On Up? That was the sentiment and the phrase used at the time. Kool cigarettes came out with ads in the black communities with phrases like “Move up to the cool taste of Kool” and crap like that. One company actually tried to launch a menthol brand called Uptown. Menthols are (or were) also popular in low income white communities, but there they had to compete with brands like Marlboro and Camel, and could carry a trashy image, as it were.

Anyway, it’s the tobacco companies making the argument about infantilizing the community. Black social and political leaders stand pretty uniformly behind the legislation, because of the toll the industry takes on the black communities.

And in any case, it’s legally no different than the government banning candy flavored cigarettes (which it can do). Menthol just had a carve out for a bit.


The government can ban tobacco, but it’s undeniably tyrannical to ban a drug because you don’t like the consequences people are choosing for themselves.


That’s certainly a valid opinion, but I think you run into a problem when the word “tyrannical” is supposed to apply to taking measures to limit the flavors being added to a highly addictive and health damaging substance, and the government of North Korea.

Edit: Also, the government does not currently have the regulatory authority to ban tobacco. It can set limits on additives and regulate nicotine content, and it has the ability to regulate the format and forums of advertising campaigns, and can set restrictions on purchase age or require health warnings, but each one of those things is fought tooth and nail by the tobacco industry in the courts.


Menthols are (or were) also popular in low income white communities

Definitely still are. My hometown is pretty low income (and white) and I recall being the only person who DIDN’T smoke while I was working a shitty position at the local KFC. And yes, that number includes both older adults and people who probably weren’t legal yet.


They’d probably have more success by only allowing cigarettes that taste like ass. Find this generation’s Barney, have him smoke the ass cigarettes and nobody will want to try them

ripcord avatar

Man, depending on how old you are there's 3 or 4 Barneys I can think of that you probably mean and none of them make sense to me in this comment


Yeah I’m wondering too

Barney the dinosaur (Kids TV character)

Barney Stinson (How I met your mother)

Barney Gumble (The Simpsons)


ripcord avatar

Barney Fife was one of the other ones I guessed, but they meant the purple dude apparently.


Its me Gordon. Barney from Black Mesa. Now about that bear I owe you.


I mean the dinosaur, obviously his mouth is too big for ordinary cigarettes but the important thing is nobody wants to be anything like him and I think that’s a useful trait for applications like this

Semi-Hemi-Demigod avatar

Get Calliou to smoke. He's even more hated than Barney.


Fuck, you’re absolutely right. It would explain his childhood cancer too

@ThePantser@lemmy.world avatar

So why not ban them all? If 81% of menthol users are black that is great to get those 81% to maybe quit. But what about the percentage of other races that are smoking other crap. Let’s ban all tobacco.

@jordanlund@lemmy.world avatar

Because Biden’s approval with black voters is in the tank, and if Pop-Pop can’t get his smokes by election day, it won’t go well for Biden.


Banning them will only get some to quit. In reality it is just making another black market.


Basically because 81% of menthol users are black. That community’s smokers complained, so menthols remain the exception… here and here alone.

Not aided by the likes of Al Sharpton treating efforts to close this loophole as if that’s a targeted attack on black smokers. Same as it ever was: loss of privilege feels like persecution.


Basically because 81% of menthol users are black.

That's not true.

Among smokers who are Black, 81 percent choose menthols, ...


Technically correct - the best kind of correct - but the point is the same. There’s a close association between the product and the group, and the group votes, so there’s a lingering exception.


It's not "technically correct." It's just correct, and what you said was incorrect.

Interestingly, a slightly higher percentage of White people smoke (12.9%) than do Black people (11.7%). And yes, 81% of Black smokers use menthols, while 34% of White smokers do. So the point is the same. Banning menthol cigarettes does impact Black people more than White people.

However, the very next paragraph seems to balance things in the other direction:

People who smoke menthol cigarettes make more attempts to quit smoking than those who smoke non-menthol cigarettes. However, the proportion of people who tried and succeeded in quitting non-menthol cigarettes is greater than the proportion of people who have tried and succeeded in quitting menthol cigarettes. This could be due to a number of factors, including the way in which menthol enhances the effects of nicotine in the brain. African American people who smoke menthol cigarettes may be even less successful in quitting than other population groups. Black or African American people can face barriers when trying to find and use proven quit smoking treatments. Also, the conditions in which non-Hispanic Black people live, learn, work and play may make it harder to quit.

The point remains the same: banning menthol cigarettes does impact Black people more than White people. In a positive way. Reading further (I won't quote the rest, there's a lot), it's clear that White people (men in particular) are the least likely to smoke menthols, so banning menthols literally helps everyone else more.


… it’s someone else’s fumbled statistic. Don’t try crawling down my throat about agreement on a correction.

In a positive way.

Well no shit. Smoking is bad, actually. I am only describing the political history of this exception.


We Americans seem to have done a great job on smoking over the past few decades. We’ve made it socially unacceptable, and that’s had serious impact. Let’s not go too radical and waste political capital. I don’t want to lose any more Democratic votes over shit like this. We’ll get there in time.

One of the rare things Trump did right was raising the purchase age to 21. Kids have less understanding of risk than adults. Given another couple of years, I may have not started in '87. Of course, I was just as much a dumbass then as now.

Alas, it was the last thing Melania got any input on before being relegated to the background. Still unhappy with her anti-vape stance. Been vaping for 10+ years, got me off a 20+ year cigarette habit. My wife quit smoking right after we met and I turned her onto vaping. She’s stunned at how much healthier she feels.

Funny thing, Hitler was also very anti-tobacco. Broken clock and all that. :)


Because of the massive amount of tax dollars gained from them, and that everyone in the senate is good friends with people who smoke. Who isn’t friends or relatives of at least one smoker?

But yes. Banning just menthol is dumb. It’s also pointless. Menthol is all flavored into the filter of a cigarette. You can buy $10 worth of pure menthol crystals, $5 worth of alcohol to dissolve the crystals in, use a toothpick to dip in the solution and then poke into the filter, and have enough there to make thousands of unflavored cigarettes menthol. You can convert an entire pack in 2 minutes.

Semi-Hemi-Demigod avatar

You can even buy cigarette rolling machines and make them for less than half the price in the store


I smoke cigars when the weather is nice. Maybe a few dozen a year. Not enough to get addicted or have adverse health effects (not saying they are good for you but statistically one cigar per day has a negligible effect on health). I use tobacco responsibly, so I’m not sure why I should have that taken away.

I know a number of people who don’t smoke cigarettes but do when they go out to the bar. I haven’t done the research because I’ve never smoked one, but I’d imagine that’s in a similarly low category of risk.

So I’d prefer not to see it banned altogether or taxed to oblivion. If it happens that’s not the end of the world, but I don’t think it’s right. The problem is unhealthy addiction, not use. Find a way to target that and I think we’re onto something. But you’d need an exact definition of unhealthy addiction and I don’t know that there is consensus on that.


Because prohibition doesn't work. We tried it with alcohol, it didn't work. We've tried it with most other drugs for decades, it didn't work.

Prohibition just creates a black market for whatever drug is banned. The drug will still be available. It will also be adulterated and untested for purity.

If they were banned, cigarettes would become more like modern heroin. The contents of them would be unknown. In addition to the harms of tobacco, there would be the harms of whatever adulterants the black market sellers put into them.

Instead of dying over the course of decades of consumption, the smokers of Black Market cigarettes would also potentially be dying immediately from whatever random stuff people put in the cigarettes.

@jordanlund@lemmy.world avatar

For those unaware:


“Among smokers who are Black, 81 percent choose menthols, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a far higher rate than for smokers who are White. Top civil rights and health groups have long maintained that the tobacco industry has a history of aggressively marketing to Black communities.”



“Biden started his presidency with an 86 percent average approval rating among Black Americans, higher than any other racial group. But by July 2022, that number was down 23 percentage points, to 63 percent. That said, his approval rating among Black Americans — unlike the other three racial groups we looked at — did mildly increase ahead of the midterm elections. But since early 2023, it has dropped again to 60 percent, the lowest his approval rating has ever been among Black Americans during his presidency.”


Why do black people hate Biden anyway?

@jordanlund@lemmy.world avatar

From the 2nd link posted above:

“When I sit in focus groups with young Black voters and ask what [Democrats have] done to make their lives better, they’re hard pressed to come up with an answer, despite this administration delivering on much of the Black agenda,” Woodbury said. “That’s the communication challenge that we have a year to overcome.”


Are Republicans any better, though? Granted, Trump did do more for black people since Jefferson /s

@jordanlund@lemmy.world avatar

Oh, they aren’t, but if the perception is “nobody does anything” then what’s the incentive to vote?

You have to convince people: a) you did something for them or b) you will change things for the better.

Biden can’t argue b, because he’s has his chance and nobody sees a.


I have spent the past 3 years complaining about settling for Biden, but he’s actually done a ton for the country in his short time. The media reports none of it. I still think voting for a non-dictator is worth the sacrifice for a 3rd party voter, which was me in 2020. The GOP has made their threats clear.

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