Many republicans will soon find themselves running on a peculiar platform: defending menthol cigarettes. The midterm elections loom and represent a vital battle for both parties. Republicans just may use Biden’s blunder in banning menthol cigarettes to their political advantage.
The Washington Free Beacon conducted an Echelon Insights Poll in three key swing states: Georgia, Nevada, and North Carolina. The poll found that 93-94% of voters thought Biden shouldn’t be wasting time on a menthol ban. 66-67% believed the ban would not be effective. 62-66% of voters believed that the ban would create a dangerous illicit market.
In Nevada, 60% of Hispanic voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported a menthol ban. Only 21% of Nevada’s voters overall would be more likely to throw their weight behind a candidate who supports the ban.
Moreover, republicans often garner a very small portion of African American voters. In 2020, Donald Trump was able to muster 12% of the African American vote and that was considered high. This platform may present an opportunity because Biden’s blundersome ban would disproportionately disparage Black Americans. According to the FDA, 85% of Black smokers primarily smoke menthol cigarettes.
There are 18.6 million Americans who smoke menthol cigarettes and even most non-smokers oppose Biden’s ban. It’s undeniably a winning issue but it is certainly a vice. Many republicans are squeamish about enabling vice and licentiousness. Illegalizing cigarettes of any kind seems wrong to most, but according to the CDC, 68% of smokers want to quit.
There is certainly a moral conundrum to politically endorsing a freedom that we know is wrong and harmful to exercise. How do you feel about republicans running on a platform of menthol cigarettes? Let’s discuss it down in the comments.