Maine’s Legislature should pass L.D. 1550, banning the sale of flavored tobacco products.

If we were starting with a clean slate, maybe we would give the corporations the benefit of the doubt. We aren’t. There is no reason to doubt that companies are using flavors to target children and other at-risk groups, because they have been doing similar things for hundreds of years.

Since the 1600s, when King James called tobacco a dirty weed, tobacco companies have hired lobbyists to manipulate policymakers to think this is about jobs and freedom, not exploitation and death. In the tobacco litigation, they were caught red-handed, and their lies killed hundreds of thousands and cost taxpayers billions. They get no benefit of the doubt.

Drug prohibition is misguided, but regulation is wise. This is the right line. End the sale of flavored tobacco products.

Andy Schmidt

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