HealthDay News — A proposed ban on menthol cigarettes is expected to be announced this week by the Biden administration.
Also anticipated is a ban on menthol and other flavors in mass-produced cigars, including small cigars popular with young people, according to administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, The Washington Post reported.
A ban on menthol cigarettes has long been sought by tobacco opponents and civil rights groups who say Black Americans have been disproportionately harmed by aggressive targeting by the tobacco industry. However, it could be years before the bans proposed by the Biden administration take effect, The Post reported.
There is a court deadline on Thursday for the US Food and Drug Administration to respond to a 2013 citizen petition seeking a ban on menthol cigarettes. It stems from a suit filed by public health groups last year to force the FDA to respond to the petition.
“There is not an open question on whether menthol in cigarettes is harmful, the evidence is overwhelming and consistent,” Joelle Lester, director of commercial tobacco control programs at the Public Health Law Center of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, said in a recent interview, The Post reported. The law center was involved with 19 public health organizations in filing the 2013 petition.