(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: Massachusetts Reports 359 New COVID Cases, 6 Additional Deaths
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, 2021READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: When Will Parents Get Their First Monthly Check?
The FDA says about 20 million Americans smoke menthols.
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: I-Team: Medical Examiner Rules Mikayla Miller's Death A Suicide