Biden administration is expected to propose BAN on menthol cigarettes because of ‘damage to black communities’
- President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to announce a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes, as well as menthol and flavored cigars
- The move would set off a process with the Food and Drug Administration that could take years and would likely be challenged in court
- It would be applauded by antismoking and civil rights groups angered by tobacco companies aggressively targeting black people with the product
- The Food and Drug Administration says that 19.5 million people smoke brands of menthol cigarettes
- Among black smokers, 85.8 per cent smoke menthols, while menthol smoking only makes up 28.7 per cent of cigarettes white Americans smoke
President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to announce a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes.
The Washington Post reported the anticipated move Wednesday, which would set off a process with the Food and Drug Administration that could take years, but would be applauded by antismoking and civil rights groups.
They have pressured the federal government to make the move because they say the tobacco industry has aggressively targeted black communities when pushing the mint flavored smokes.
President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to announce a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes, according to The Washington Post
The Biden administation can unilaterally ban the mint-flavored smokes, but has to go through a process with the Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration says that 19.5 million people smoke brands of menthol cigarettes like Marbloro Menthols
The Post also reported that the Biden administration is also looking to include menthol and other flavored, mass-produced cigars as well, including the smaller cigars that are popular with young people.
Menthol cigarettes have long been considered the gateway cigarette for young people when they start smoking.
The Biden administration can unilaterally ban flavored cigarettes and cigars without the help of Congress.
The FDA must put out proposed rules and receive public comments.
There will likely be court challenges brought by the tobacco industry against the move as well.
The FDA must respond to a lawsuit by Thursday after the agency was sued in June by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and Action on Smoking & Health for not responding to a citizen petition asking that menthol cigarettes be banned.
Biden has made racial equity part of his agenda, including on health outcomes.
Health groups point to studies that show menthol cigarettes are harder to quit than the non-flavored versions and point to numbers showing that black Americans smoke them at three times the rate of white Americans.
Data from the FDA counts 19.5 million people as menthol cigarette smokers.
Among African-American smokers, 85.8 per cent smoke menthols.
That’s in comparison to 46 per cent of Latino smokers who smoke menthol, 39 per cent of Asian smokers who smoke menthol and finally, 28.7 per cent of white smokers who smoke menthol.
‘The predatory marketing of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products must be stopped and we should all recognize this as a social justice issue, and one that disproportionately impacts youth and communities of color,’ said a letter written to Biden’s Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra signed by representatives from 10 civil rights and black health organizatios, the Post said.
The letter spoke of moves made by the tobacco industry including menthol giveaways at gatherings in black neighborhoods.
Biden, like his predecessor President Donald Trump, doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol.
The administration is also reportedly planning to push tobacco manufacturers to decrease the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Nicotine doesn’t cause cancer, according to health experts, but makes cigarettes more addictive.