(CBS) — A nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes may be coming soon. Massachusetts has had a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco since 2020.
Two people familiar with the U.S. plan told CBS News that the Biden administration expects to announce the ban on Thursday. That’s the day the FDA is supposed to respond to a 2013 citizen petition calling for the ban.READ MORE: Bill Would Give Up To $2,000 Bonuses To Essential Workers Who Worked In-Person During Pandemic
The American Medical Association and other public health experts support the menthol ban because data shows the cigarettes disproportionately hurt racial minorities and young people, according to CBS News.
Confirmed: A menthol cigarette ban is expected soon from Biden admin. Won’t take effect immediately for ~20M menthol users in US.
— Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) April 28, 2021
The FDA says about 20 million Americans smoke menthols.READ MORE: Melrose Seeks To 'Deemphasize' Halloween In Classrooms, Hold 'Inclusive' Fall Events
According to CBS News, the ban would not take effect immediately and could take years to be instituted because it is subject to a long rulemaking process and could face lawsuits.
Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to ban menthols. Convenience store owners in the state have said the ban resulted in significant drop in cigarette sales, with customers going to neighboring New Hampshire or Rhode Island to buy menthols.MORE NEWS: Snoop Dogg Pays Tribute To Late Mother Beverly Tate At Boston Concert