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Exclusive: Mandating Low-Nicotine Cigarettes Could Make Smoking More Dangerous

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Mandating Low-Nicotine Cigarettes Could Make Smoking More Dangerous

#Mandating #LowNicotine #Cigarettes #Smoking #Dangerous

The Biden administration continues its misguided war on nicotine. On Tuesday, the administration revealed plans to require cigarette makers to severely cut the amount of nicotine in their products. A proposed rule change “would establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and certain finished tobacco products.” The idea, it says, is to make cigarettes less addictive.

Nicotine is the substance in cigarettes that makes them physically addictive. But nicotine itself isn’t what makes cigarettes so dangerous. (Some scientists “wonder if a daily dose could be as benign as the caffeine many of us get from a morning coffee,” notes Scientific American.) It’s the other ingredients in cigarettes, and the byproducts of combustion, that make smoking cigarettes so bad for you.

This is one reason why the war on vaping is so stupid, and also speaks to the half-baked premises of the Biden administration’s latest anti-smoking plan.

In a world with lower-nicotine cigarettes, people already addicted to nicotine will still be addicted—they’ll just have to smoke more cigarettes to get their nicotine fix. That means that mandating all U.S. cigarettes be low-nicotine cigarettes could actually make smoking riskier by requiring smokers to smoke more and consume more of the other substances in cigarettes in order to get the same level of nicotine they’re used to.

Research funded by the government suggests that smokers will smoke more or inhale more deeply when cigarette nicotine levels are cut somewhat but will scale back or quit if nicotine is nearly eliminated from cigarettes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But these studies exist in settings where smokers don’t have alternatives. In the real world, nearly eliminating nicotine from legal cigarettes could trigger unintended consequences.

If the U.S. goes all low-nicotine smokes, other countries will still be producing full-nicotine cigarettes. And this opens up a great opportunity for smuggling and black market sales of higher nicotine cigarettes.

A bigger black market in cigarettes means three things, none of them good. First, it creates more room for organized crime to operate. Second, it creates more room for counterfeit cigarettes that could be even more dangerous for consumers. And third, it invites more policing of cigarette sales, which means more police time wasted on victimless crimes, more monitoring and harassment of business owners, and more potentially dangerous interactions between individuals and police.

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“People applauding this policy should also specify what prison term they favor for people who sell full-strength cigarettes in violation of it,” suggests Jacob Grier. “One year? Five years? I’m curious to know, but they never say.”

Even absent black-market concerns, there are reasons to doubt the government research showing lowering nicotine levels means less smoking. From the Journal:

Industry executives also point to the fact that many study participants cheated by smoking regular cigarettes when they were supposed to be smoking only low-nicotine cigarettes. Researchers acknowledge this point.

“That certainly is a limitation of the studies, because people did not fully comply,” Dr. Benowitz said. Despite the cheating, participants reduced their nicotine intake by 70%, he said.

Reducing nicotine intake per se shouldn’t be the point though. Reducing nicotine intake without reducing overall cigarettes smoked doesn’t help anyone.

Martin Cullip at Filter worries that lowering nicotine could also backfire by convincing some smokers that their habit is harmless. “In short, the [Food and Drug Administration’s] scaremongering has managed to convince many people that nicotine is the most harmful ingredient of a combustible cigarette, when nicotine does not cause significant harms.” In effect, “many smokers may understand the new products to be a government-approved green light to carry on smoking tobacco. This misguided understanding is liable to have deadly consequences.”

Meanwhile, while authorities have gone all-in on low-nicotine cigarettes as a means to reduce smoking, they’ve repeatedly attacked a more sane way to do so: promoting vaping—which provides nicotine without the tar and combustion—as an alternative to smoking.


FREE MINDS

The Supreme Court issued rulings on school choice and criminal justice cases yesterday. For more, see:

In a third ruling issued yesterday, the court held 7-2 that a certain sort of attempted robbery does not qualify as a “crime of violence.” The case—United States v. Taylor—asked whether someone convicted for attempted robbery under the Hobbs Act has also committed a crime of violence. “This matters because the additional ‘crime of violence’ designation carries with it a second felony conviction and extra years in prison,” notes Reason‘s Damon Root.


FREE MARKETS

Louisiana’s trigger law criminalizes abortion at all stages. A measure signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards yesterday bans abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and makes it a crime punishable by 10 to 15 years in prison to perform an abortion.

The law will take effect immediately if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

“Senate Bill 342 by Sen. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe) updates Louisiana’s 2006 abortion ‘trigger law’ and more than a dozen other prospective abortion restrictions,” notes WRKF Baton Rouge. “The bill stiffens the criminal penalties for abortion providers already outlined in state law, doubling the maximum sentences to 10 and 15 years, depending on when an abortion is performed during a pregnancy.”

SB 342 explicitly states that pregnant women cannot be prosecuted for the crime of abortion. “But critics of the bill say its broadened definition of personhood could expose doctors and patients alike to prosecution for homicide and dozens of other offenses in the state’s criminal code,” notes WRKF.

Under Louisiana’s new law, abortion is a crime from the moment a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. This is an update from the old law, which specified that the ban on abortion started at fertilization and may have been used to ban emergency contraception


FOLLOWUP

Uvalde police’s response to the shooter at Robb Elementary School was an “abject failure,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told state legislators yesterday. “The officers had weapons. The children had none. The officers had body armor. The children had none. The officers had training. The subject had none. One hour, 14 minutes, and 8 seconds. That’s how long children waited and the teachers waited in Room 111 to be rescued,” McCraw said, identifying school district police chief and on-scene commander Pete Arredondo as major factors in the failure. “The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering Room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.”

More from Reason‘s C.J. Ciaramella:

McCraw’s testimony comes on the heels of reporting by multiple Texas news outlets that contradict Arredondo’s narrative of the May 24 mass shooting that left 19 elementary school students and two teachers dead. Arredondo said in a recent interview with The Texas Tribune that he didn’t consider himself to be the on-scene commander and that officers waited outside the door because they were outgunned and lacked breaching tools or keys to open the doors.

However, the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV reviewed hallway footage of the incident and reported that officers arrived with a ballistic shield and rifles 19 minutes after the gunman entered the school. They also had a breaching tool, called a Halligan bar. The Texas Tribune reported that none of the security footage it reviewed shows officers checking the door or attempting to unlock it.

“I have great reasons to believe it was never secured,” McCraw testified about the door. “How about trying the door and seeing if it’s locked?”


QUICK HITS

• More from the January 6 investigative committee hearings.

• A California measure decriminalizing loitering for prostitution purposes is on its way to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. (More background here.)

• “Chicago police officers will no longer be allowed to chase people on foot simply because they run away or give chase over minor offenses,” reports the Associated Press. The announcement comes “more than a year after two foot pursuits ended with officers fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy and 22-year-old man.

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• “Another individual has died while in custody at Rikers Island, marking the seventh death this year at New York City’s troubled jail complex,” noted Gothamist yesterday. Now:

• Twitter’s board of directors has approved Elon Musk’s purchase of the company.

• Gun and ammunition sales would be specially tracked if bank gets its way. Amalgamated Bank wants to create a special merchant category for guns and ammunition, which would allow credit card companies and banks to “file what’s called a suspicious activity report with law enforcement if they suspect possible gun crimes,” notes CBS News. For now, however, the effort has been blocked by the International Standards Organization.

• Does anyone care about Elvis Presley anymore?


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Exclusive: Gunman at Large After Killing Six at July 4th Parade – TalkOfNews.com

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Compelling Television

#Gunman #Large #Killing #July #4th #Parade

“At least six people were dead, 31 were hospitalized and a gunman was at large Monday afternoon after shooting Fourth of July paradegoers from a roof in this Chicago suburb,” the Washington Post reports.

“Video from the scene appeared to show blood pooled on the sidewalk and police talking to people in downtown Highland Park. Others showed the chaos while loud bangs could be heard on the downtown street where chairs, toys and blankets were strewn.”

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Exclusive: Biden Wants To Scrap Filibuster To Codify Abortion Into Law – Manchin And Sinema Refuse To Budge – TalkOfNews.com

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Biden Wants To Scrap Filibuster To Codify Abortion Into Law – Manchin And Sinema Refuse To Budge

#Biden #Scrap #Filibuster #Codify #Abortion #Law #Manchin #Sinema #Refuse #Budge

President Biden on Thursday called on the Senate to carve out an ‘exception’ to the filibuster as a means to codify abortion rights into law following the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“The most important thing to be clear about is I believe we have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that,” Biden told reporters at a NATO summit in Spain.

“And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, it should be we provide an exception for this, requiring an exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision,” he added.

One reporter openly wondered if Biden, whose popularity is at record lows and who has struggled to coalesce his party around any significant policy achievements, is the best messenger.

“Yeah, I am,” he snapped back. “I’m the president of the United States of America. That makes me the best messenger.”

RELATED: Flashback: Biden Supported Constitutional Amendment Overturning Roe v. Wade, Said It Went ‘Too Far’

Biden Wants to End Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

It’s no mystery as to why President Biden is seeking a filibuster ‘carveout’ to force abortion legislation into law.

The filibuster is designed to prolong debate and delay or prevent a vote on a bill. Ending debate requires the agreement of three-fifths (60) of Senators, or in today’s Congressional makeup – 10 Republicans would have to join the majority party.

Eliminate the filibuster, and suddenly a bill to codify abortion rights into law requires 50 votes in a Senate divided 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris giving the tie-breaking vote to the Democrats.

Fortunately, however, it turns out Biden isn’t the best messenger to eliminate the filibuster, with the idea already having been nixed.

Democrat Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) have, as they have consistently, vowed to protect the filibuster. And Biden’s comments haven’t swayed them one bit.

The Daily Mail reports that the pair’s offices reached out to them and Manchin’s said “the West Virginia Democrat’s position had not changed in light of the president’s new comments,” while Sinema’s referred them to a previous statement, a statement which reveals the filibuster has actually been used in the past to protect pro-choice legislation.

“Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women’s access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever,” Sinema said.

RELATED: Biden Calls To End Filibuster For Democrat Voting Bill, Something He Once Called A ‘Very Dangerous Thing To Do’

It’s Not Really an Exception

It’s important to note that when President Biden, Democrats, and the media use phrases like ‘carveout’ and ‘exception,’ they’re trying to create the illusion that this is the only time they’ll consider scrapping the filibuster.

In fact, it seems quite clear they’ll use it for nearly every platform they’d like to get passed in the Senate and squash the ability of the minority to stand in their way.

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In January, the same man talking about an ‘exception’ to codify Roe v. Wade into law delivered an angry speech calling on the Senate to change the filibuster in an effort to get Democrat voting reform legislation rammed through Congress with a simple majority.

He was so adamant about nixing the filibuster that he said anybody refusing to support voting reform was equivalent to being a segregationist or Confederate.

If Manchin and Sinema were to cave on this ‘carveout,’ do you think Democrats would revisit the voting reform bill?

And while those two Democrats have remained opposed to scrapping the filibuster, it’s important to remember that an ‘exception’ was made back in December after 14 Republicans joined in offering a one-time exception to suspend the filibuster, allowing Democrats exclusively to vote in favor of raising the debt ceiling.

That move led Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to refer to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as “Biden’s bitch.”

Biden’s support for eliminating the filibuster is part of his new evolution since becoming President and being yanked to the extreme left by a party that is currently dominated by radicals.

In 2005, Biden called the nuclear option to weaken the filibuster an “arrogance of power,” and said eliminating it “would undermine the protections of a minority point of view” and have “long-term consequences.”

In 2019, President Biden called ending the filibuster a “very dangerous thing to do.”

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Now suddenly, ‘Danger’ is his middle name, as Biden throws caution to the wind and demands the filibuster be eliminated for policies and platforms he personally supports.

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The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”


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Exclusive: Massachusetts A.G. on Concealed Carry After Bruen – TalkOfNews.com

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No Pseudonymity in Challenge to Federal Vaccination Mandate

#Massachusetts #Concealed #Carry #Bruen

From guidance issued Friday:

  • It remains unlawful to carry a firearm in Massachusetts without a license….
  • Licensing authorities should continue to enforce the “prohibited person” and
    “suitability” provisions of the license-to-carry statute….
  • Licensing authorities should cease enforcement of the “good reason” provision of the license-to-carry statute in response to Bruen. Authorities should no longer deny, or impose restrictions on, a license to carry because the applicant lacks a sufficiently good reason to carry a firearm. An applicant who is neither a “prohibited person” or “unsuitable” must be issued an unrestricted license to carry.
  • Licensing authorities may continue to inquire about the reasons why the applicant wants a license, but may only use that information to assess the prohibited person and suitability requirements of the statute. They may not use that information to deny or restrict a license for lack of a sufficiently good reason to carry a firearm.
  • The FID [Firearms Identification] Card Process Is Unaffected by Bruen. Because there is no “good reason” provision for issuance of an FID card, licensing authorities should continue to process and issue FID cards exactly as they did prior to Bruen….

The [Massachusetts concealed carry] statute instructs that a “determination of unsuitability shall be based on: (i) reliable and credible information that the applicant or licensee has exhibited or engaged in behavior that suggests that, if issued a license, the applicant or licensee may create a risk to public safety; or (ii) existing factors that suggest that, if issued a license, the applicant or licensee may create a risk to public safety.” …

Thanks to Dr. Ed for the pointer.

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