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Tags: tom cotton | menthol | cigarettes | ban | terrorists | biden administration

Sen. Tom Cotton: Menthol Cigarette Ban Aids Terrorists

By    |   Tuesday, 23 January 2024 11:44 AM EST

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., made it clear that the Biden administration's proposed ban on menthol cigarettes would allow terrorist groups to bring in millions of dollars to finance their activities through black market sales of the cigarettes.

Cotton, in a letter dated Monday to Xavier Becerra, secretary of Health and Human Services and to Attorney General Merrick Garland, wrote: "The FDA's proposed rule to ban menthol cigarettes would allow terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah to rake in millions from black market menthol cigarettes and use the profits to finance their terrorist activities, and therefore represents a national security threat to the United States."

"It has long been settled that 'Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaida, and other terrorist organizations have profited from trafficking in illegal cigarettes or counterfeit cigarette tax stamps.'

"Terrorist organizations, working with cartels, profit from black market cigarettes and use those profits to finance their terrorist activities. In May 2022, the Food and Drug Administration published a proposed rule prohibiting the use of menthol cigarettes.

"As the proposal itself notes, the 'removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace could result in some people seeking menthol cigarettes through the illicit trade market.' While the FDA assumes that the increase in cigarette trafficking would be 'modest,' the Obama administration's 2015 interagency report concluded that cigarette smuggling is 'a low risk, high-reward criminal activity; traffickers can make millions, with little risk of detection or harsh punishments.'"

Cotton queried whether the FDA consult with the Justice Department before it issued the proposed rule.

A final rule was meant to be published by August 2023, Bloomberg reported. In December, the administration postponed the final ruling and scheduled it for March 2024 instead.

Jeffrey Rodack

Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., says the Biden administration's proposed ban on menthol cigarettes would allow terrorist groups to bring in millions of dollars to finance their activities through black market sales of the cigarettes.
tom cotton, menthol, cigarettes, ban, terrorists, biden administration
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2024-44-23
Tuesday, 23 January 2024 11:44 AM
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