Banning tobacco products

Banning products based on nicotine

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the level of nicotine allowed in cigarettes. The FDA is considering a complete ban of nicotine use in cigarettes by the year 2009.


Tobacco as a crop in the US represents less than 2 percent of farm income. It provides for most growers an income after costs that is below the poverty level. Banning tobacco would have little agricultural effect. The value in tobacco production is with the middle men, the tobacco companies, retailers, wholesalers, vending machine operators and federal and state governments. Thus a tobacco crop value of US $3 billion per year becomes $46 billion after the middle men have added their part. Of this amount, taxes take $13 billion and over $2 billion is spent on advertising and media.

Counter Claim:

Prohibition of a product worth US $46 billion, used by one quarter of Americans, grown on 124,000 farms in the USA, and contributing $13 billion in excise taxes would create numerous economic and law-enforcement problems. Banning all tobacco use would not appear to be feasible.

Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production