Lawsuit Seeks to Force Ban on Menthol Cigarettes

The move comes after a delay by Biden administration.

April 03, 2024

Anti-smoking groups sued the U.S. government on Tuesday over a long-anticipated ban on menthol cigarettes, which has been idling at the White House for months, reported Bloomberg Government.

According to the article, the lawsuit is the latest effort to force the government to ban menthols.

Officials initially targeted last August to publish the rule eliminating the menthol flavor. Late last year, White House officials delayed the ban until March to review the rule. Three nonprofit groups, including Action on Smoking and Health, filed their lawsuit in a federal court in California after the March deadline passed.

In November 2023, NACS urged the White House in a letter to reconsider the menthol ban:

“…(T)he proposed ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars would have a detrimental impact on small businesses, including approximately 93,250 small operators in the U.S. convenience store industry,” wrote NACS. “If implemented, a single convenience store would lose $72,285 a year in non-tobacco sundry sales, representing close to 4% of inside sales, on top of the $160,107 lost due to the reduction in sales of tobacco products.”

In addition to the economic impact, the proposed ban would have the exact opposite results that proponents have championed.

On Tuesday, NACS provided a statement to Fox News on the issue: “Experience with state bans shows that they don’t advance public health or reduce smoking—they just lead to illegal, unregulated sales and deprive a significant source of tax revenue for local, state and federal governments. It would be bad policy for FDA to replicate those failed policies on a national level. We hope that FDA is reconsidering its policy in light of the evidence that these types of bans simply don’t work.”