Proposed ban on menthol cigarettes expected to be announced this week

The Biden administration is expected to announce a proposed ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes this week, according to multiple reports.

The action has long been sought by public health advocacy groups, and the administration is facing a Thursday deadline to respond to a lawsuit demanding that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) take action on a 2013 citizen petition seeking a menthol cigarette ban. An announcement is expected tomorrow, but could also be previewed by President Biden tonight.

The White House directed questions to the FDA, which declined to comment.

The FDA’s decision would not immediately ban menthol flavors, but would instead launch a rulemaking process that would likely take years. Any final decision would also likely be challenged in court by the tobacco industry

Anti-smoking and civil rights groups have long argued Black Americans have been disproportionately harmed by menthol cigarettes, as the tobacco industry deliberately targeted Black communities for decades.