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Biden administration dropping plan to ban menthol cigarettes: report

The Biden administration has reportedly abandoned its plans to ban menthol cigarettes after warnings that it could push away some Black voters.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the White House had dropped its plans for the ban after weighing the potential public health benefits against possible political repercussions.

“This rule has garnered historic attention and the public comment period has yielded an immense amount of feedback, including from various elements of the civil rights and criminal justice movement,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement Friday.

“It’s clear that there are still more conversations to have, and that will take significantly more time.”

Plans for a menthol ban have been in consideration for several years now, but a final rule has been delayed, with the Biden administration recently missing an internal deadline to issue a final rule on the matter.

Public opinion on a potential ban has been polarizing, with public health groups urging the White House to follow through on the ban while some criminal justice organizations have argued it unduly criminalizes a product that is highly popular among Black smokers.

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Source: The Hill

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