By CBSBoston.com Staff

(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.

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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.

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.

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CBSBoston.com Staff