Weaponizing Poverty

151 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2016

See all articles by Bruce Levinson

Bruce Levinson

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Date Written: September 1, 2013


Based on case examples, the paper discusses how efforts to weaponize poverty, i.e., policies that use a low income population segment’s economic status as the fulcrum in an attempt to alter behavior, can and do backfire.

The paper was developed in response to the US Food and Drug Administration's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the use of menthol flavoring in cigarettes and addresses two questions.

(1) If menthol cigarettes could no longer be legally sold, is there evidence that illicit trade in menthol cigarettes would become a significant problem? If so what would be the impact of any such illicit trade on public health? How would any such illicit trade compare to the existing illicit trade in cigarettes?

(2) What additional information and research beyond that described in the evaluation is there on the potential impact of sale and distribution restrictions of menthol cigarettes on specific subpopulations, such as those based on racial, ethnic, socioeconomic status, and sexuality/gender identity?

Keywords: tobacco, cigarettes, menthol, FDA, regulation, black market, contraband, discrimination, social justice

Suggested Citation

Levinson, Bruce, Weaponizing Poverty (September 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2740700 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2740700

Bruce Levinson (Contact Author)

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness ( email )

1601 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20009
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics