Fairhaven Considering Ban on Menthol [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Here we go again, the government trying to solve the crisis du jour by banning something.
This time it's "thou shall not purchase menthol cigarettes" in Fairhaven convenience stores, gas stations, and retailers who have a license to sell tobacco products.
It's for the children, you know. Teens vaping and smoking menthol products is the newest battlefield in the war against nicotine addiction. So local health officials are going to grapple with putting an end to menthol cigarette sales because of the increasing levels of menthol use among youth.
If they're so inclined, why don't they just ban all tobacco sales? You know why.
Think about how illogical it is to think that by making only menthol cigarettes illegal, it's going to lower the problems of usage with our problem teens. That's the equivalent of putting a Band-Aid on a cut-off finger. Banning menthol cigarettes won't solve the intended problem, but it will create a new one by driving mom and pop store owners into financial adversity, because patrons will simply move on to a place that sells what they want.
Chatting with the family that owns the iconic Jackson's Variety Store on Sconticut Neck Road in Fairhaven, I was told that taking away menthol cigarette sales would put the business in dire straits. After 52 years serving their neighbors, prove to me that what the local board of health is considering, with a possible menthol cigarette ban, solves the problem facing our addicted teenagers.
There's a planned public hearing on Wednesday, October 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fairhaven Town Hall. I know the members of the local board are good and decent people who will vote to protect the public's health concerns. But banning this product isn't the solution or the way to address the problem of our youth and their increased nicotine usage.
On Wednesday morning, October 16 at about 7:30 a.m., I've invited Colleen Jackson to speak about this issue on the Phil Paleologos Show. I hope you tune in.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.