To say that New Jersey government operates as a nanny state is like saying the sky is blue.

Everyone knows.

It doesn’t really need to be pointed out.

However, I feel New Jersey is outdoing itself with this mission on banning menthol cigarettes. It’s been in the works in our Legislature for a long time.

Photo via Tarzhanova and Canva
Photo via Tarzhanova and Canva

Recently the state Assembly Health Committee voted 7-2 with one abstention approving and moving forward a bill that would ban the sale of menthol cigarettes in the Garden State.

If would make us the third state to do so. Massachusetts was the first in 2020 and California did last year.

Assemblyman Herb Conaway, who is a doctor in his non-legislative life, by the way, explains: “The reason we are taking action is because (menthol) is an additive that cools the heat as you draw it into your lungs, exposing more of your lungs to the toxic effects.”

It’s long believed smokers of menthol cigarettes draw smoke deeper into their lungs and smoke more frequently because of the menthol lessening the harshness of the smoke.

Photo isolated smoke of e-cigarette
Photo via Chris_Tefme

There’s also the argument that menthol cigarettes are more likely to attract children.

Opponents of the bill wonder if people of color will be more targeted by law enforcement since they buy menthol-flavored cigarettes at a higher percentage than whites.

Herb Conaway sincerely believes banning menthol cigarettes will save lives. I don’t doubt it could, but if the whole point here is all about “saving lives” you know what would save plenty more?

Banning the sale of all cigarettes in the state of New Jersey.

Why won’t they do that? Follow the money. The state makes millions on cigarette taxes. For every pack sold New Jersey earns $2.70.

Photo via Ingram Publishing

Only 13 states have a higher cigarette tax than we do. More than 480,000 people die in this country annually from smoking.

In New Jersey alone nearly 12,000 people die from smoking each year.

This is blood money. Is there any other way to see it?

While Herb Conaway bemoans smokers being addicted to nicotine New Jersey meanwhile is addicted to revenue sources. It’s the ultimate hypocrisy as far as I’m concerned.

Ban this type of cigarette, not that. Make it look good. Check off a box.

It’s nice virtue signaling, but banning only menthol cigarettes is sending lifeboats off the Titanic at less than half capacity. They could save a lot more, but not if it’s going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

You see, this virtue signaling is much more cost-effective.

These are the long-gone NJ mall stores we miss the most

With so many trends of the 1990's back in style, it's a great time to look back at a strong foundation of 80's and 90's culture — New Jersey mall shopping. Some stores were a highlight, every trip.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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