Robo-Vaping Is the Sad Future of Smoking

Hamilton Nolan · 10/08/13 02:42PM

Lawmakers in Europe have voted to ban menthol cigarettes, but have rejected a proposal to heavily regulate "E-cigarettes." This development further cements the vast gulf between the cool, dangerous, retro smoking choices of the past, and today's ridiculous techno-vaping nerd trend.

Is It Racist To Ban Menthols?

Hamilton Nolan · 07/25/08 08:36AM

Should menthol cigarettes be banned? From a public health standpoint, shit yea. It would be best for all of us if the only cigarettes available were unattractively packaged, harsh-tasting, and unwieldy. As a Kool smoker, though, I have mixed feelings. You know who else does? Members of the Congressional Black Caucus who receive bundles of cash from the tobacco industry! The fact that "75 percent of black smokers choose mentholated brands" means that the current battle over whether or not to ban them goes to issues even deeper than their sweet, sweet mentholated taste. Things at stake: billions of dollars in revenue, hundreds of millions in marketing campaigns, racial tension, and how happy cigarette companies are to kill you in exchange for money! The current bill in Congress would ban "flavored" cigarettes, but exempt menthols. The Black Caucus is an important player because they stand for the black community—the most enthusiastic consumers of menthols—and they've been wooed big time by tobacco companies.

Keep Your Laws Off Our Kools!

Hamilton Nolan · 06/05/08 10:49AM

Seven former US health secretaries have signed a letter calling on the government to ban menthol cigarettes, which have been exempted from an upcoming bill banning "flavored" cigarettes. Congress, thankfully, isn't backing them on this one. Do you know what we smoked before Kools? Beedies. They're even worse! Soon, shady Astroturf groups quietly financed by Big Tobacco will come together with unscrupulous hustlers posing as representatives of the black community to say: Hands off our bodies, government! [NYT]

Menthol Cigarettes Are Not 'Flavored,' Says Dr. Kool Newport

Hamilton Nolan · 05/13/08 09:06AM

How popular are menthol cigarettes? Popular enough to reverse logic. The government is set to pass a bill that will ban "flavored" cigarettes, but menthols will be excluded. Because menthol, of course, is not a flavor. What menthol is is close to $20 billion in sales for the tobacco industry. As well as an important part of African-American culture! Tobacco companies advertise menthol brands disproportionately to minority communities, and it obviously works, although nobody really knows why. What we do know is that this bill is perfect—it protects my precious Kools, while saving America from the strawberry menace: