by Park MacDougald
Wednesday, 22
June 2022
Reaction
16:00

What’s with Joe Biden’s nicotine obsession?

The President has a far more relaxed attitude to harder drugs
by Park MacDougald
This man needs a smoke. Credit: Getty

Some Americans looking at the latest inflation numbers might feel the urge to smoke. But the cigarette won’t do much to soothe their nerves if a proposed new Food and Drug Administration rule goes into effect. 

According to reporting from the Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration intends to move forward with a rule — mulled since last April — that would reduce the nicotine content of cigarettes by as much as 95%. The rule wouldn’t take effect for “several years”, according to the Journal

This latest move is part of a larger Biden administration war on nicotine: in April, the FDA announced that it would be pushing for the elimination of menthol cigarettes, which are disproportionately smoked by black Americans. And just this morning, the Journal reported that the agency is prepared to order Juul, the most popular e-cigarette brand in the United States, to remove its products from the market. 

The public-health rationale for such a move is fairly clear: smoking causes cancer, and research from the FDA suggests that when nicotine levels are drastically reduced, people smoke less and are more likely to quit.

And yet, it’s a strange emphasis for an administration that has supported the decriminalisation of marijuana and promoted “harm-reduction” strategies for deadly drugs like fentanyl, meth, and crack-cocaine, which are designed to help users “safely” maintain their drug use rather than cajoling them into sobriety. In February, for instance, the Department of Health and Human Services had to abandon a plan to fund the distribution of free crack pipes after public backlash. 

Speaking in April in response to the proposed menthol ban, the Reverend Al Sharpton commented on the hypocrisy of the administration’s drug policy: “That puts us in a very awkward position as ministers,” Sharpton said. “Grandma can’t smoke her Kools but Jamal can smoke his weed. That puts us in an awkward kind of position that looks paradoxical.” 

Indeed it does. It’s also worth noting that unlike fentanyl, meth, and marijuana, all of which either kill you or make you stupid, nicotine is a well-known cognitive enhancer. A 2018 study noted that “nicotine had significant positive effects on fine motor, short-term episodic memory, and working memory performance”, a fact noted by eminent minds such as UnHerd contributor and former smoker Edward Luttwak.

So millions of Americans can now look forward to living slightly longer while getting slightly dumber and enjoying a little less freedom. Perhaps they should consider taking up crack.

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Russ W
Russ W
1 month ago

The best line I have read all day.

“ So millions of Americans can now look forward to living slightly longer while getting slightly dumber and enjoying a little less freedom. Perhaps they should consider taking up crack.”

When Al Sharpton says the Democratic president is a hypocrite, well I guess that says a lot about Biden‘s future .

Last edited 1 month ago by Russ W
Scott Anderson
Scott Anderson
1 month ago

Based on the timing, there may be more to this than meets the eye.
Tobacco was researched for use in creating flu vx as early as 2010. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21360963/
And reasearch at NIH website notes that Nicotine blocks the receptors that are associated the Cov 2 “cytokine storm”.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32595653/

Lori Wagner
Lori Wagner
1 month ago

Perhaps the author has been smoking too much weed and omits that cigarettes kill close to half a million Americans a year.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 month ago
Reply to  Lori Wagner

its called freedom of choice, and part of the fun of smoking is annoying non-smokers, and the woke ” ban everything that causes me offence…

Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
1 month ago
Reply to  Lori Wagner

What you mean is, it causes half a million to die several years earlier.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
1 month ago
Reply to  Lori Wagner

People due every minute of every day. The only sure thing in all our lives is that we will all die. When I smoked and I did for 30 years, I smoked menthol cigarettes as they gave you a bigger blast of nicotine. I have to admit to following people who smoke menthol cigarettes up the street just for the smell ( you have to go to mainland Europe to buy them as they have banned them in the UK). If you want your people to live longer ban everything they enjoy – tobacco in all its forms, alcohol, fat, sugar, sport, driving, religion – but be prepared for a very unhappy population with severe mental health issues and a love of rope and high trees.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 month ago
Reply to  Lori Wagner

E-cigarettes certainly don’t! The war against nicotine has now become a puritanical crusade, detached from scientific evidence and in stark contrast to the entirely opposite position being taken on other drugs which are more dangerous – especially to others!