PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes may be coming soon.
The Biden Administration is expected to make the announcement on the ban Thursday. National and local organizations said it’s targeting racial minorities and young people.
“Big tobacco has intentionally and maliciously inflicted on the black, LGBTQ and low-income communities for decades. We know that menthol is targeted against those communities and so by prohibiting the flavor of menthol your also looking at making a positive impact,” said Shana Crews, Illinois Relations Director American Cancer Society.
According to the FDA, 20 million Americans smoke menthols. It’s derived from mint products, it was added to tobacco products in the 1920s to reduce the harshness taste of tobacco.
“Because of the chemical properties of menthol cigarettes it is also hard to quit so when you look at adult smokers who try to quit those who use menthol have less success than smokers with traditional cigarettes,” said Crews.
Crews said a ban could potentially save millions of lives.