LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Biden administration intends to ban menthol cigarettes, according to a report from CBS News.
The proposed ban could be announced Thursday, according to an administration official.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was due to respond Thursday to a 2013 petition seeking the ban. About 20 million Americans smoke menthols, according to the FDA.
The American Medical Association favors the move to ban menthols because data shows the mint-flavored cigarettes disproportionately impact the health of racial minorities and young people.
CBS News reports the ban has Democratic support in Congress. Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi and Bobby Rush, recently argued the FDA has a “duty” to ban menthols.
“These failures to protect children, particularly African American children, from a path to addiction are inexcusable,” they told the administration.
The Washington Post first reported the Biden administration’s plan on Wednesday.
The ACLU has pointed out that enforcement of the ban is problematic — for the same reason some call it necessary. Enforcement would likely focus on minority communities, who could be singled out for violations.
The ACLU has also been critical of any proposed ban because it is a criminalization strategy that could lead to “unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”
White House and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said a ban on menthol cigarettes would have “serious racial justice implications.”