A completely sincere advertisement during Wednesday night’s GOP primary debate starring, real former border law enforcement officials from the totally real advocacy group the “Border Security Alliance,” warned that the Biden Administration’s plan to ban menthol cigarettes would fuel an illicit cross-border trade that would further enrich and empower violent Mexican drug cartels.
Well one of the guys is a former CBP officer. The other is retired military intel. But the “Border Security Alliance” is definitely a real advocacy group. They have a website. The logo’s pretty cool too. Much better graphic design job for an American bald eagle than ours. And yeah it’s totally imaginable that a ban on menthols would fuel an illegal cross border trade because people might be too lazy to roll their own filtered cigarettes and use a menthol spray on them. Or just chew gum while smoking regulars. And the cartels could be thinking like “Hey maybe let’s just make less money and take up more volume in our trucks to smuggle cartons of menthols instead of heroin and coke.”
We could sort of imagine that happening. Still, we’re not totally sure who might be funding this “Border Security Alliance.” It doesn’t say it on their website. And what’s weird too is that their Twitter feed seems to mention smoking and vaping a lot more than you would think a organization focused on preventing cross-border drug and human trafficking would be. But they seem really concerned that the FDA banning menthols would be more trouble than it’s worth. What do you guys think?