Coalition Letter of Criminal Justice Concerns with H.R. 2339, Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act
The ACLU joined a coalition letter expressing concerns with H.R. 2339, Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act. The bill enacts a broad prohibition on menthol and other flavored tobacco products that has unintended criminal justice consequences. While this legislation is a well-intended effort to address health issues associated with tobacco use among youth, we have concerns that a blanket prohibition on menthol and other flavored tobacco products, which will apply to adults, will (1) disproportionately impact people and communities of color; (2) trigger criminal penalties, prioritizing criminalization over public health and harm reduction; and (3) instigate unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.