CRE filed comments on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ proposed rule to counter the smuggling and sale of contraband cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Key points raised by ATF in their NPRM were:
1. Cigarette smuggling profits fund terrorism and other deadly criminal groups.
2. Counterfeit cigarettes pose health hazards over and above those of genuine cigarettes.
3. Illegal cigarette trafficking makes it easier for children to smoke.
CRE’s comments informed the ATF about the contemplated ban on menthol cigarettes and noted that, “if enacted, a ban would create enormous demand for contraband menthol cigarettes, a product preferred by over 18 million people, or one-third of adult cigarette smokers.
CRE advised ATF to brief FDA and the TPSAC regarding how they believe such a ban would affect contraband cigarette issues including health issues and threats to the health of non-smokers from smuggling-related crime.
TPSAC has discussed the need to obtain experts on contraband — they need not hire a consultant– instead they should obtain the services of the Federal agency with the greatest expertise of contraband tobacco, ATF.
CRE’s forthcoming White Paper on contraband will include ATF materials.
Attached are CRE’s comments to ATF