The Biden administration, sponsored by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has announced plans to force cigarette manufacturers to reduce the amount of nicotine in their products by as much as 90 percent. The FDA has also announced that Jules, a manufacturer of nicotine-based e-cigarettes, will no longer be allowed to sell products in the United States. Another pending FDA rule would ban menthol cigarettes, which is preferred by 40 percent of smokers.
By doing so, the Biden administration, which was partially elected in a promise to reform our shattered criminal justice system, limit the war on drugs and read the discriminatory effects of federal policy on the minority community, will criminalize more Americans, opening a new theater. Fight the drug, and ensure a different impact for decades to come.
The legacy of this nation’s prohibition has taught dark, harsh lessons about how people behave. The only ones who do not seem to be able to learn these lessons are the moderators, who are able to force others to live as they wish in the infinite view of the flexibility of human nature. Prohibition lessons have proven thousands of times that people, in general, act according to their own preferences, and that attempts to shape human behavior from the outside lead to predictable – but often completely predictable, results.
Prohibitions do not prevent people from getting drugs who want to get drugs. People have been changing their consciousness and perception with matter for thousands of years. How people react to such bans (by going around them, not leaving forbidden things), bans make drug use more dangerous and make drugs more dangerous.
For the moment, take the recommended reduction of nicotine in each cigarette sold. Cigarettes are the delivery system of nicotine, which is found naturally in tobacco leaves. Nicotine itself does not cause cancer or serious disease, but it is nicotine that enlightens people. Within ten seconds of lighting a cigarette, nicotine is delivered to the brain, which produces the immediate physiological effects of cigarettes: improved mood and concentration, decreased arousal and stress, reduced muscle tension and appetite. For habitual smokers, smoking primarily works to reduce the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, which makes nicotine particularly addictive.
But cigarettes are the only way to supply nicotine to the brain. These are a common, well-established, but especially dangerous and dirty method. Most of the cancer- and disease-causing properties of cigarettes come from tar, the burnt smell of leaves and additives – not from nicotine. Gum, patches and evaporation devices for nicotine delivery have entered the market in recent years, and are credited with helping many smokers quit the habit of more toxic cigarettes. For at least a significant portion of smokers, it’s nicotine, and not the smoking experience they want.
Since nicotine, and nicotine addiction, drive cigarette smoking, it may seem natural that reducing the chemical of addiction can slow down the drive of smoking. Some studies have shown that the first 1-2 drugs in a cigarette can produce enough nicotine to withdraw and the rest of the cigarette can be effectively discarded. But for people with an established habit, the most likely outcome is that they will More cigarette smokingTo get the same level of nicotine, take more of the pathogenic smoke. It doesn’t take great human empathy or even medical studies to guess. All we need is a little common sense.
Iron law of prohibition
Picture of a large college football stadium on the day of the game. There are tents and tailgate parties on each side for up to a quarter of a mile, everyone is enjoying the day outside. In these picnic coolers, you can probably find beer (4-7 percent alcohol by volume), hard selted and spiced lemonade (4-10 percent ABV), and wine (8-11 percent ABV). Inside the stadium, the price of beer in the parking lot is at least four times higher. Many people try to smuggle “outside drinks” through security to continue their enjoyment inside the home at a discount. Irresistibly, outside beer drinkers smuggle whiskey and vodka. If your priority is a product but don’t get caught up with it, you want the most addictive effect for the least amount of volume, because the smaller the container the easier it is to hide. During the alcohol ban, bootleggers smuggled very strong alcohol because the risk was high and the alcohol margin was high.
This phenomenon is known as the iron law of prohibition: the prohibition of something creates a stimulus to increase the power of the product to be sold on the black market. Richard Cowan found a similar arc in an article titled “How Narcissus Makes Cracks”. He summed up his iron law as follows: “The harder the application, the harder the drug.”
So, what are the possible consequences of the FDA order for low-nicotine cigarettes? The need to make all commercially sold cigarettes low-nicotine not only encourages the black market of full-energy products, but also a direct incentive for anyone to make super-charged cigarettes: from cigarette beer to whiskey. This allows you to charge a higher price for each cigarette (reducing the risk of high volume smuggling) but it also engineers one of the most addictive, ultra-high concentration cigarettes that is not yet on the market – but will result in an effort to reduce smoking.
Just another war against drugs
The ban on joule products will result in a similar phenomenon, providing a much lower-risk supply for nicotine than cigarettes. Of all Americans, by far the most likely to use e-cigarettes (of any kind, not just Joule) are adults who quit smoking last year. There are significant health risks associated with vaping, but they are much lower than cigarettes – 90 percent safer than smoking. By removing one of the most popular, and most regulated, cigarette options from the market, the FDA will bring back at least some of these recent winners to their cigarettes.
For high school students in most states, cigarettes have been illegal for the past century, with the minimum age of purchase fluctuating between 21 years in 1920, 16 in 1980, 18 in 1993, and 21 today. During that time, the use of cigarettes by adolescents continued to decline, but never to zero. Prohibiting the purchase of just one item does not stop its use. Similarly, prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers has not stopped devices from reaching children. While there has been a significant spike in acute illness or injury through vaping devices such as 2019-2020, those tragedies were associated not with the transparent legal market, but with the additions to the black market THC cartridges. This has made the product in the vicinity of the law even more dangerous.
Illegal cigarette smuggling is already a big business in the United States, with the continued demand of 30 million American smokers generating substantial financial incentives for international trade and tax evasion. More than half of cigarettes sold in New York and California are “trafficked” to avoid sales taxes. Organized criminal networks are eagerly expanding into vaping products Soon they may have special opportunities in menthol products.
Cigarette counterfeits, where foreign manufacturers are known, imitate branded cigarettes, creating more-significant health risks than “ordinary” cigarettes. Studies have shown that such products contain high levels of toxic heavy metals, as well as insect eggs, dead flies, mold and human feces. Similar adulterations have been found in illegal vaping cartridges. Increasing taxes, or making it more difficult to access desirable products, encouraging more consumers to look for illegal sources will likely worsen public health outcomes.
Making drug addicts criminals
The biggest mistake in the war on drugs is to criminalize products, behaviors and people who will be better helped by appropriate health care, either to give up or to reduce the harm of use.
Those who fall into the harmful spiral of addiction do so for a variety of physiological, psychological, social and societal reasons and will rarely be discouraged by the well-intentioned barrier between them. Indeed, most of them will suffer not only the consequences of poor health, but also of criminalization, deprivation, and even death, because of the intervention of nanny-state prohibitors who believe that human nature can be defeated, or re-engineered by policy.
Regulators feel that even when they have taken an e-cigarette company out of the market and imposed a strict ceiling on the nicotine in cigarettes, they simply cannot ban cigarettes altogether.
This is partly due to the tobacco lobby, one of the biggest and most effective special interests in modern politics. And this is partly due to the government’s reliance on revenue collected from the cigarette tax.
We can assume that regulators also know that a blanket ban is impossible – that the 30 million Americans who currently smoke will not stop being addicted to pen strokes. The supply and use of marijuana, cocaine and even heroin has not been significantly reduced by strict bans on these products, even though there are far more social stigmas and criminal fines than nicotine products.
Regulators may even realize that increasing the size of the smuggling market (effectively turning all cigarettes currently sold in the United States into black market products) will attract more illegal traders, and, as seen in previously banned era, will lead to violence over profitable illicit trade shares. .
But the FDA’s behavior does not indicate that they have learned these lessons. They seem unable to predict even the most basic unintended consequences of trying to interfere with human motivation and hinder individual motivation.
When busy people at the FDA portray the effects of their new regulations, they imagine that these interventions would save lives, reduce health consequences, and protect Americans. They only imagine the outcome of their choice, not the way people actually behave.
They imagine that the adult smoker is putting his last cigarette in the ashtray, ignoring how many smokers have tried to quit for their own reasons; And they imagine the bright white smiles of millions of kids who are never addicted.
What they should portray is that the prisoners are wrapping patches of nicotine with tea leaves and paper, they are smoking. They should think of the adolescents who were hospitalized with the additive in the vaping cartridge on the black-market, who were bought because the controlled products were inaccessible or too expensive. They should be predicted to shoot at a speedboat smuggling goods available in convenience stores today.
And they should remember that Eric Garner, stumbling on the sidewalk in New York City, was suffocated by a police officer for selling loose cigarettes by evading the per-pack tax with the aim of gradually reducing smoking.
Prohibition, because it fails to account for people’s motivation and motivation, is therefore reversed every time.