WASHINGTON – The Biden administration is planning to push for a ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been the target of anti-smoking advocates and civil rights activists who say the industry has aggressively marketed to Black Americans, according to a published report.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday the administration also will seek to ban menthol and other flavors in mass-produced cigars, including small cigars popular with young people. The administration is set to announce the proposed ban this week, the paper said. The cigarette ban would not require congressional approval, but the Food and Drug Administration would have to submit proposed rules and seek public comment. A final ban could take years and would likely be challenged in court by the tobacco industry, which has repeatedly sued the FDA to block anti-tobacco regulation. The FDA had no comment
Cigarette smoking has declined in recent years, but tobacco use remains a leading source of illness and death in the United States and worldwide, especially among people of color.