Biden DELAYS menthol cigarette ban: President bows to political pressure and yanks move after fierce warnings it would anger black voters
The Biden administration is pushing for a final rule banning menthol cigarettes amid political opposition and warnings that the move could anger Black voters who have drifted away from the president in the polls.
The administration does expected to announce that the rule will be finalized in March. That would mean another delay, after an expected rollout in August was postponed until January.
The FDA announced new standards banning menthol cigarettes in 2022, in a move aimed at addressing illness and death from a product originally marketed to African American smokers.
Among black smokers, 81 percent choose menthol cigarettes Figures from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cited by the Washington Post.
The Biden administration is expected to again delay final rulemaking on a proposed ban on menthol cigarettes
The move comes amid polls showing that while Biden's support among Black voters remains high compared to other groups, slipamid generally low approval ratings, putting him in a tough race against former President Donald Trump, who has built a lead over his rival even as he refuses to rule out being a dictator.
The regulatory move has sparked a debate between parties focused on potential health benefits and the ACLU and other groups that say it would go after a specific group of smokers and lead to black market sales.
Possible unintended consequences could include shifting production to China and risky sales from the trunk of cars.
Republicans in the House of Representatives announced Last month they examined the pressure on regulations.
The CDC has issued warnings based on scientific research that “menthol in cigarettes increases the likelihood that youth and young adults will try to smoke and that those who start smoking will continue to smoke regularly.”
'Menthol makes cigarettes more attractive and easier to smoke,” the CDC said. 'Moreover, menthol enhances the addictive effect of nicotine in the brain. The amount of nicotine, the addictive drug in tobacco products, in menthol cigarettes has increased in recent years.”
It cited data showing that 10.1 million people started smoking between 1980 and 2018 thanks to menthol cigarettes, which it estimated resulted in 378,000 premature. The agency added up the totals, 3 million years of 'potential life lost' during this period.