Nolte: Ban on Menthol Cigs Is the Racist Criminalization of Black Behavior

man lighting cigarette
Getty Images/Merlas

The Biden administration and the left-wing corporate media are not even making a secret of the fact that a proposed ban on menthol cigarettes is targeted at black Americans.

Black Americans disproportionately smoke menthol cigarettes — brands such as Newport, Kools, and Salem — by a rate of more than three times that of white people. So…

According to Democrats and the media, white people should be allowed access to the brands of cigarettes they enjoy, but black people should not.

This patronizing thinking says that menthol kills off a lot of black people so let’s outlaw something black people enjoy to save them. This fascist madness is shrouded in the cause of “health disparity.” Okay, well, then why don’t we ban black people from driving cars? That will sure move those numbers in the right direction.

Think of all the unhealthy foods black people enjoy that should be banned.

See what I’m getting at? Democrats are openly promoting an idea that will turn black people into second class citizens – but you know, for their own good.

It’s not hyperbole to say that under the cloak of do-gooderism, Democrats are bringing back Jim Crow, creating a world where white people will continue to get what they want while black people do not.

What’s more, out of one side of their mouths Democrats and the media rage against “systemic racism” that exposes black people to unnecessary contacts with law enforcement, but out of the other side of their mouths, Democrats and the media are looking to criminalize something as petty as the brand of cigarette a black person chooses to smoke.

Do you understand how insane this is?

About 20 years ago, after smoking for 15 years, I quit and do not recommend anyone start. It’s a filthy and unhealthy habit. I was also the rare white boy who smoked menthols. Nevertheless, smoking cigarettes, like all kinds of risky personal habits (skydiving, power tools, driving a car, eating red meat, etc.) is a personal choice that harms only the person making that choice. This is not true for alcohol, which no one is talking about banning. What I mean is this… If forced to make a choice between banning cigarettes or alcohol, I would easily choose alcohol because unlike alcohol, no amount of smoking will ever result in someone driving erratically, beating their wife, or losing everything they own.

Cigarettes do not alter your consciousness. Oh, but marijuana does, and Democrats sure are eager to legalize weed, and one of the reasons they cite for marijuana legalization is to decrease the reach of the criminal justice system. In fact, a whole bunch of Democrats like the idea of putting an end to punishing people for personal possession of all drugs.

But God help you if you’re caught with a pack of Kools, right?

Outlawing menthol cigarettes will not make them go away. In the same way Prohibition blossomed thousands and thousands of outlaw distilleries, the prohibition of menthol cigarettes will do the same, which will almost certainly result in MORE law enforcement action against black people.

After decades and decades of public health campaigns, including a warning right on the package that says cigarettes will kill you, we all know the risks. So now it’s time to treat every American – black and white alike – as informed adults capable of making our own decisions about the risks we wish to take when it comes to our own personal idea of what “quality of life” means.

We all want to live to be a hundred, but some of us don’t want to live that long if it means a hundred years without sugar, cheeseburgers, and the morning bite of that first drag off a Newport 100.


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