Ban on menthol cigarettes within the works for Biden administration

Washington: The Biden administration is planning to suggest a ban on menthol cigarettes, a long-sought public well being objective of civil rights and anti-tobacco teams that has been overwhelmed again by the tobacco trade for years, in response to a federal well being official.

For many years, menthol cigarettes have been marketed aggressively to black individuals in the US. About 85 per cent of black people who smoke use menthol manufacturers, together with Newport and Kool, in response to the Meals and Drug Administration. Analysis exhibits menthol cigarettes are simpler to change into hooked on and tougher to give up than plain tobacco merchandise.

Packs of menthol cigarettes at a retailer in San Francisco. California. Credit score:AP

The FDA is being pressured to behave by a court docket deadline — a federal district choose in Northern California had ordered the company to reply by April 29 to a residents’ petition to ban menthol. However the odds are unlikely {that a} ban would take impact anytime quickly, as a result of any proposal is prone to wind up in a protracted court docket battle. The proposal would additionally embody a ban on all mass-produced flavoured cigars, together with cigarillos, which have change into well-liked with youngsters.

The ban wouldn’t, nevertheless, apply to e-cigarettes, that are being thought of as a way to assist people who smoke of normal menthol cigarettes give up. Most e-cigarette manufacturers, together with Juul, are present process an FDA evaluate that can decide whether or not they’re sufficiently helpful to public well being to be allowed to remain in the marketplace.

Delmonte Jefferson, govt director of the Centre for Black Well being and Fairness, one of many organisations behind the petition, known as the choice a victory for African People and all individuals of color.

“This has been a very long time coming,” stated Jefferson. “We’ve been combating this combat, since again within the Eighties. We informed the trade then, we didn’t need these cigarettes in our communities.”


Smoking.Credit score:Nikita Sobolkov

Steven Callahan, a spokesperson for Altria, which owns Philip Morris USA, stated the corporate remained against a menthol ban.

“We share the frequent objective of transferring grownup people who smoke from cigarettes to doubtlessly much less dangerous alternate options, however prohibition doesn’t work,” Callahan stated. “A much better method is to assist the institution of a market of FDA-authorised non-combustible alternate options which might be engaging to grownup people who smoke.”

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