Biden admin expected to delay menthol cigarette ban, possible anger from Black voters cited

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The Biden administration may delay its controversial ban on menthol cigarettes again, with administration officials citing political pressure that could harm the president’s shot at re-election.

According to The Washington Post, the administration is expected to reveal on Wednesday that it plans to finalize new federal rules to remove menthol cigarettes from the U.S. market by March.

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The rules were first expected to be finalized in August, but the administration later revealed that they hoped to complete them by January. However, they noted that legal challenges would likely stall the ban from going into effect for several years.

Three officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the delay would come amid pressure from lobbyists and critics who warned that the ban may anger Black smokers and negatively impact Biden’s prospects in 2024.

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Prohibiting menthol cigarettes would save up to 654,000 lives in the US within 40 years, including the lives of 255,000 members of the Black community, a 2022 study found.Oct 16, 2023

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