One day after the Biden administration said it would develop a rule requiring tobacco companies to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes, a new report via WSJ said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing to order Juul Labs Inc. to take its e-cigarettes off the U.S. market.
WSJ cites people familiar with the matter who said the FDA decision could come as soon as today.
"The marketing denial order would follow a nearly two-year review of data presented by the vaping company, which sought authorization for its tobacco- and menthol-flavored products to stay on the U.S. market," WSJ notes.
Juul has spent the last several years attempting to regain the trust of the FDA and the public. The company limited marketing and stopped selling fruity flavors in 2019 -- since then, sales have tumbled.
Altria invested $12.8 billion in Juul in December 2018, acquiring a 35% stake. Shares in Altria are down almost 10%, the lowest since February 2021.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is also gunning for the percentage of nicotine in cigarettes. As the American Thinker's Andrea Widburg notes:
Not only will this offer dubious health benefits (and I suspect that it will backfire), but it also represents, yet again, the excessive power the Executive Branch has managed to gain, something that's far from what the Founders in their great wisdom envisioned.
The news report isn't complicated:
The Biden administration plans to propose a rule to establish a maximum nicotine level in cigarettes and other finished tobacco products in an attempt to make them less addictive, the White House Budget Office said Tuesday.
The rule, expected in May 2023, would be designed with the goal of making it easier for tobacco users to quit and help prevent youth from becoming regular smokers, according to a document released by the Budget Office.
The proposal comes as the Biden administration doubles down on fighting cancer-related deaths.
In a statement on Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the plan was to 'to reduce youth use, addiction and death.'
This follows on the heels of the FDA's proposal to ban menthol cigarettes, which are the cigarettes of choice for Blacks, and flavored cigars. (I have no idea who smokes those cigars.)
My suspicion is that the plan to decrease nicotine may be counterproductive. While activist White leftists may not believe it, there are people to don't wish to stop smoking. If each cigarette has less nicotine, they'll simply smoke more cigarettes to get the same rush. And while nicotine may be the addictive part of cigarettes, it's all the other stuff in the cigarettes that's harmful to health. If my cynical suspicions are accurate, smoking more cigarettes to get more nicotine will mean more health problems, not fewer.
But there's something else that really irks me about this. I should note before going farther that I don't have a dog in this fight. I've never smoked a cigarette and can't stand the smell of either cigarettes or cigars. If the whole panoply of tobacco products suddenly disappeared from the earth, I would be happy.
However, I am not happy about an Executive Branch that has this much power. No president should be able to dictate how a product should be made and sold. This is something that Congress, through the Commerce Clause, should control.
In the same way, the Executive Branch should not be able to affect so drastically the flow of fossil fuels into America. Our entire way of life is dependent on fossil fuels. Everything we buy, use, eat, drink, wear, or anything else requires fossil fuels. Ending fossil fuels means no modern health care, no modern education, no travel, no anything at all. We will instantly be returned to a dark, grim, narrow world that cannot be saved with limited and expensive wind and solar power (both of which are dependent upon fossil fuels for their manufacturing).
Yet beginning on his first day in the Oval Office, Biden has signed a few pieces of paper that have paralyzed fossil fuel in this country. He stopped the cheap, easy, and environmentally friendly Keystone Pipeline (giving money to dirty trains and trucks) and stopped drilling and exploration on federal lands. His administration has done everything possible to damage Americans' access to the energy that underlies this country.
The Founders never intended the Executive Branch to have that kind of power, which drastically affects commerce and should be something Congress debates and votes upon. The president's job is to enforce the existing laws (laws such as immigration and maintaining a functioning military), not to destroy the energy that keeps America humming.
The fact that Biden wants to destroy the tobacco industry, depriving millions of people of something that gives them pleasure and potentially creating a new health risk, doesn't mean Biden should be able to do so. Congress must take its power back, or our country risks becoming a pure dictatorship. The only comforting thought will be that the dictator's new military, complete with transgender troops obsessed with pronouns, "green" ships, and officers focused on Critical Race Theory, won't have the emotional strength to be a Wehrmacht or People's Liberation Army.