Banning menthol cigarettes

This note is incorrect and I take exception to it. Characterizing arguments as racist - OK? If not, it should be

The article contains many links, if you cannot click hyperlinks in an article I am not really concerned with you reading them, like I’m not your dad and it’s not my job to hold your hand.

The article is not paywalled, that is factually incorrect. I do not have a account and have never paid them any money and the article in its entirety renders for me. In fact the premium articles on Slate have “Slate Plus” at the top of them, which the linked article does not. Now, Slate does prompt you to disable ad blocker, but you can just click the X in that dialogue and it goes away (you don’t have to actually disable your ad blocker.) It is a free article on the internet, if you can’t read it then there’s not much I’m willing to do about it.

No, but if the links you are describing are paywalled then the least you could do is link to them.

It’s not paywalled, it’s literally a free Slate article.

When it’s all said and done, the “enticing” thing about cigarettes is the nicotine addiction. I am willing to bet a bundle that, if menthol cigarettes are banned, the overwhelming majority of smokers affected will switch to regular cigarettes rather than give them up entirely. This smacks of political grandstanding to me.

I just went through about half of the Slate article, clicking each link. Pretty much the only ones behind paywalls are the few that go to the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. A couple of the links I checked have gone dead since the article was written.

Seems to me that there are at least a couple dozen links within that article which are active and do not go through any paywalls. Flooding this thread with bare links wouldn’t do anyone much good.

In fairness, I believe that Slate limits the number of articles one may read for free each month. So if someone has already read a dozen (or whatever the number is) articles before clicking on the links, they’ll be effectively paywalled.

In which case, @DrDeth can wait a month then read the whole article and click any link contained therein. Problem solved!

It is paywalled after you have reached a certain number of reads.

After two paragraphs that article says : “Let’s keep this thing going. You have run out of free articles. Try your first Month of Slate plus for only…”

But why not just link to the cites? There is no reason not to, unless of course they dont support your post.



I doubt anyone is going to post all those links and quotes for context just to please you when you can see it all for yourself at Slate a month from now.

Know what? I’m feeling generous. Here’s a significant excerpt:

A clever study led by researchers at RAND Corp. in 2010 tested the possibility that the large reductions identified in small communities were due to chance. …

NB: I’m just providing an except and have no interest in joining a debate.

Modnote: I believe you have exceeded fair use by a large margin, I have to remove most of what you quoted. Please don’t do this again.

If I am incorrect and this was public domain, please let me know, I can undo the snipping.

This is just a guidance, not a warning. Nothing on your permanent record.

This paper analyzes nationally representative databases, including the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, to compare short‐term changes in mortality and hospitalization rates in smoking‐restricted regions with control regions. In contrast with smaller regional studies, we find that smoking bans are not associated with statistically significant short‐term declines in mortality or hospital admissions for myocardial infarction or other diseases.

Note that use the term short‐term several times. And those writers do not appear to be medical doctors they were writing for a RAND journal that is fairly well respected in the economics field.

Note that my cites use the term “long term”.

It is quite possible that short term effects were not as great as originally thought. That does not mean that SHS is not deadly and dangerous. Cite after cite, expert after expert has said so.


My apologies. I was under the impression that a certain percentage can be quoted as fair use and that is quite a long article.

This gives another reason to not indulge @DrDeth.

Yes, but that was directed at Martin_Hyde not you.

thank you for your cite.

It is a valid meaning for the term “racist.” Talking about the difference between racist intent and racist outcomes is quite common. It’s fine if you don’t use the word that way, but then you’re just making a semantic argument. You know what I mean–a racially disparate outcome.

Yes, intent matters. But it’s not an excuse. Intent is why the guy who accidentally say something racist can apologize. It’s not, however, an excuse that lets them keep saying the racist thing once they know it is racist.

I do believe, as per my first post, that it is possible—even likely—that the initial impetus for the menthol cigarette ban was not racist. However, it has now been established that it would have a disproportionate impact on a particular race–what I would call a “racist outcome.”

Now that this is known, those proposing the ban have a choice. They can ignore this outcome–but that will communicate that their intention is either racist or racially indifferent. They can acknowledge the outcome and back off–that will communicate that they want to avoid racism. They can acknowledge the outcome and try to minimize the racially disparate impact—which would also be seen as non-racist. Or they can try the hardest road: acknowledging the disparate impact but arguing that this is an acceptable downside to achieve their goals.

That last one is the hardest because there is little reason to think this would reduce smoking by that much. Those who need the menthol will likely be able to get mentholated filters. And, even if you also ban those, cough drops are not going to wind up outlawed. And people who buy cigarettes are not remotely averse to using the black market.

And yet, despite that small change, the perception will be that it was a racially motivated act, and not just by black people. To ignore the political perception of a political action is rather naive at best.

People can and will infer intent from the outcome. People will assume that knowingly instituting a ban that is known to have a racially disparate outcome was done in part for racist reasons.

People can’t read minds. And they can’t trust speech, as people can lie about intent. But they can see outcomes.

Is it currently perceived in Massachusetts or in Canada that their bans on menthol were “a racially motivated act”?

Please provide the scientific polling figures that show this to be the case.