The Biden administration is expected to snuff out sales of menthol cigarettes due to the disproportionate effect it’s having on racial minorities and youth.
Sources close to the White House said the Food and Drug Administration may announce the ban as early as Thursday, CBS News reported.
FDA officials declined to comment on the story when contacted by the network.
Democrats such as Sen. Richard J. Durbin have called the lack of a ban up until now “inexcusable” on the part of lawmakers.
“It is time to remedy the broken promises of the last administration by banning menthol cigarettes today,” the Illinois senator, in conjunction with allies in the House, wrote in a statement on April 21. “Indeed, it is your duty. As one of his first acts in office, President Biden instructed you, along with all agencies, to consider racial equity in your policymaking.”
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s statement added that “smoking-related illnesses rank as the number-one cause of death” among African Americans.
“Big Tobacco companies have for decades bombarded African Americans with tobacco ads featuring mentholated cigarettes,” the committee’s statement read. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those ads have been ‘targeted heavily towards African Americans through culturally tailored advertising images and messages.’ The end result: seven in ten African American youths aged 12–17 who smoke use menthol cigarettes.”