Biden administration expected to announce plan to ban menthol cigarettes

The Biden administration is expected to announce this week that it will propose a ban on menthol cigarettes, an action urgently sought by tobacco opponents and civil rights groups that say African Americans have been disproportionately hurt by the industry’s aggressive targeting of Black communities.

The administration also is poised to say it will seek to ban menthol and other flavors in mass-produced cigars, including small cigars popular with young people, according to administration officials familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss it publicly.

It could be years before such bans would take effect, but the administration’s announcement is likely to be hailed by anti-smoking organizations as a critical and long-overdue step in curbing tobacco use and improving public health. Despite sharp declines in smoking in recent years, tobacco use remains a leading cause of illness and death in the United States and worldwide, especially among people of color.

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