White House Delays Menthol Cigarette Ban Plan Amid Public Input

The Biden administration decided to postpone a plan that started in 2021 to ban menthol cigarettes, confirmed by the White House on Friday.

Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), mentioned that the plan got a lot of attention, and they received a ton of feedback during the public comment period, to Fox Business in a statement. He stated that more discussions are needed, which will take more time.

Menthol cigarettes are liked by many Black and Hispanic smokers, and these communities are where these minty cigarettes are heavily advertised, as per data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Menthol Cigarettes
Menthol cigarettes popular among Black and Hispanic smokers, account for one-third of US consumption.

These menthol cigarettes make up about one-third of all cigarettes smoked in the United States.

Some Black leaders, including members of the American Civil Liberties Union Black Caucus, are worried that banning menthol cigarettes could help the illegal cigarette market and could lead to racial profiling, according to the newspaper.

The administration proposed banning menthol cigarettes in 2021 as part of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative. They wanted to address the differences in smoking rates among races and also discourage young people from using mint-flavored tobacco products.

Some fear menthol ban could boost the illegal market and lead to racial profiling.

As the next presidential election approaches, the administration is considering both the health benefits of the ban and the possible negative reaction from Black voters, as reported by the Journal.

Representative Robin Kelly, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, expressed disappointment in the FDA’s decision to cancel the plan. She believes that banning menthol cigarettes could have saved many lives.

The sale of menthol cigarettes has already been prohibited on a state level, in California and Massachusetts.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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