I support efforts to curb the use of underage tobacco, but only when they are working and without hurting those who are claiming help. In contrast, the Los Angeles councilor plans to introduce a ban on flavored tobacco products on June 16. I have the communities in which I live and serve listen to us and oppose these efforts that have proven to be ineffective and harmful to some of the most vulnerable populations. Strongly demand.
Criminalizing flavored tobacco increases the chances of confronting police in a colored community where the relationship between police and the community is already suffering. Flavored cigarettes, especially menthol cigarettes, are preferred by black smokers, but most white smokers tend to prefer unflavored cigarettes. Creating a ban on products preferred by people of color while being completely legal for products preferred by whites is not only unjustified, but Americans around the world are racially injustice in our communities and institutions. Looks very insensitive when working to overcome justice.
The ban on consumables that pose a health risk has been previously attempted, and we all know how it turned out. Both the alcohol ban of the 1920s and the current drug war did not result in reduced use, but only the very different racial consequences of these policies in illegal markets, violence, and especially in the present era. It was.
As part of a comprehensive regulatory scheme, the state is already heavily taxing cigarettes and other tobacco products. Although this has important public health purposes, it is a significant stream of government revenue used to fund important government programs such as law enforcement and social welfare for those left behind by society. We also provide. The ban puts pressure on underground sales and creates an illegal market worth billions of dollars but pay no taxes.
The underground market could also lead to an incident in which a 14-year-old black child in Rancho Cordoba was chased, mounted and assaulted by police officers after purchasing a cigarillo from an adult last year. Giving the police and the community, especially the color community, another reason to feel hostility and distrust only reduces the safety of all of us.
Similar to the policies that pioneered the drug war, flavor tobacco bans cannot even reduce smoking and minor use. According to a 2021 Graduate School of Public Health study published in JAMA Pediatrics, youth smoking increased by 30% after San Francisco banned flavored e-cigarettes. “Evidence that this policy is associated with increased smoking among high school minors suggests the need for caution,” said study author Abigail Friedman. The San Francisco experience raises serious questions about the idea that young people are only smoking because flavored tobacco is delicious.
Similarly, when Massachusetts legislators banned flavored tobacco products, they created a solid underground market without reducing smoking. This is a pre-warning from the state’s multi-institutional illegal tobacco task force. Immediately after the ban came into effect, law enforcement leaders urged the state to abolish the law. In addition to the illegal internal markets created by the ban, consumers have moved across state boundaries, and tobacco sales have skyrocketed in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island. Massachusetts lost $ 140 million in tax revenue over a year and a half.
On the other hand, we know that honest education, harm reduction, and access to smoking cessation tools reduce smoking for both children and adults. The CDC calls the phenomenal reduction in smoking prevalence one of the greatest public health achievements in the last 50 years.
Between 1997 and 2015, the percentage of high school students who smoked in the past month dropped from 36% to 11%. This 70% reduction is not due to a ban, but to education, including a public health campaign that teaches children that smoking is dangerous and not cold. It is also helpful to provide a safer alternative to smoking tobacco for adults who are already addicted to nicotine.
I know that the city council is acting with the best intentions. However, from years of experience with similar legislation, such a ban creates racially different consequences, community tensions, and, ironically, an illegal market boom that makes it easier for children to buy tobacco. We know.
Lieutenant Diane Goldstein (Ret.) Is a 21-year police veteran from Redondo Beach, California, a non-profit group of police and other criminal justice professionals who support the general public based on evidence. Secretary General of Partnership (LEAP). Safety policy.
Flavored tobacco bans won’t achieve desired outcomes – Press Telegram Source link Flavored tobacco bans won’t achieve desired outcomes – Press Telegram