President Biden plans to ban menthol cigarettes

By Leonardo Cervantes

Cigarette companies have been brazen with their products for decades, but it seems like Biden’s administration wants to put an end to this. The Biden administration is expected to announce its proposal to ban menthol cigarettes sometime this week. Menthol cigarettes have been among the most popular brands of cigarettes, especially among the African-American community. The companies have actively marketed menthol cigarettes towards Black communities.

“Along with their proposed ban of menthol cigarettes, the administration also plans to ban menthol and other flavors in mass-produced cigars, including small cigars popular with young people,” according to administration officials familiar with the situation. These officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss it publicly. Menthol cigarette companies continue to target the African-American community because they are the overwhelming consumers of menthol and flavored nicotine. The African-American community buys over 85% of menthol cigarettes.

Not only is it obvious that smoking isn’t good for one’s body, it also damages the environment. Tobacco leads to environmental pollution by releasing hazardous air pollutants. All the animals and plants that absorb the tobacco substances are affected as well. A person who is smoking in public is selfishly impacting the environment negatively while they ruin their own body.

Cigarettes are one of the most damaging products a person can use to damage their bodies. Cigarette smoking causes most cases of lung cancer. “Smoking causes about 90% of all lung cancer deaths,” via the CDC. Smoking leads to coronary heart diseases and lung diseases. Smoking can cause cancer to one’s body almost anywhere, like the stomach or liver. Second-hand smoking is nearly as bad as smoking since the person is inhaling the smoke breathed out by smokers. Second-hand smoking can also cause cancer.

Cigarette smoking isn’t a cheap addiction. Prices vary depending on location, but in California, a pack of cigarettes will cost about $8.31 on average. Over the span of a month addicts will waste over $33 on cigarettes, and in a year it’s about $400. However, many of the people addicted to nicotine often buy two packs a week. Therefore, if a person were to double their intake, the amount of money they waste a week on cigarettes would be $66, and nearly $800 a year. Once a person becomes addicted to nicotine they will have a hard time stopping and can lead to even more addictions.

“Cigarette smoking causes more than 48,000 deaths each year in the United States. More than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the United States. Smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents combined,” information found via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC.

Over the years many public places like restaurants and parks have banned smoking. Some places only have a small designated area that allows smoking, but others have completely banned smoking in their area. It has been a great development over the years because families that visit parks with their children no longer have to worry about the exposure of smoking in front of their kids. If a young child sees an adult smoking it might make them curious about it in the future and might want to try it out for themselves. With many public locations banning smoking, it eliminates an exposure of children seeing adults smoking in public.

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