The FDA and the Biden Administration are reportedly expected to announce a ban on menthol cigarettes later this week.
The New York Post reports that the ban is part of an initiative by activist groups and certain government officials to protect black lives due to their disproportionate use of the product.
The unidentified source is said to be “administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
In 2013, an petition was circulated in North Carolina to trigger a ban on the menthol product. And now it seems the lawsuit filed by public health groups last year requiring the FDA to respond to the petition has given the ban idea some traction.
Former Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.) also wrote an opt-ed in 2019 about the destructive consequences of menthol cigarettes on the black community:
“As we continue to push to protect Black lives, we must put an end to one of the most pernicious destroyers of Black health and lives: deadly menthol cigarettes.”
The FDA now has until Thursday to reply to the petition.
While the ban is expected to be announced this week by the Biden administration, officials say it could take years for the ban to actually be initiated.