11.18.2010 1

Menthol Cigarette Ban Will Create A Massive Black Market

Americans for Limited Government Statement on New Study Pointing to Massive Contraband Cigarette Market

November 18, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government, today issued the following statement regarding a study in the news today that quantifies the size of a tobacco black market should the Food and Drug Administration decide to ban menthol cigarettes.

“Since starting its work earlier this year, the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee has made precious little progress in studying one of the major issues that Congress asked it to examine.  That issue is whether a ban of menthol cigarettes, which the committee might recommend, could create a contraband market.

“Now, we have news of the first study of the issue and it confirms the concerns we raised earlier this year that a menthol cigarette ban would likely lead to a multibillion dollars illegal market in tobacco.  An enormous black market can only mean one thing; easier and cheaper access to cigarettes for kids.

“This is a classic case of government interference leading to devastating outcomes.  Since the charge to ban menthol cigarettes is led by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, it may be time for them to change their name to the Campaign for Tobacco Access for Kids.

“ALG believes that a cigarette crackdown will not only fail to achieve its objective, but will also create a large unnecessary bureaucracy that will threaten liberty and prosperity.  There is clear and compelling evidence in history that a menthol crackdown will not work.”

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