Biden May Reportedly Delay Menthol Ban After Concerns Of Political Implications

(Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden’s administration reportedly may delay its menthol ban after critics warned that such a move could upset Black smokers who utilize the product and affect the president’s 2024 re-election chances, administration officials told The Washington Post.

As the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drafted a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, health experts said such a move could save black American lives as the demographic uses the product at nearly triple the rate of white Americans. Forty percent of excess deaths due to menthol cigarette smoking between 1980 and 2018, were black Americans, according to the FDA. The Biden administration is reportedly expected to announce Wednesday its plan for the ban, though three administration officials told The Washington Post that the proposed rule could be delayed because of the “pressure during an election year.”

“This would be devastating,” David Margolius, director of public health for Cleveland, told the Washington Post about the potential delay in the ban.

GOP strategists and retired law enforcement professionals previously told the Daily Caller that enacting the ban could cost Biden a number of Black Americans votes in the 2024 election. After the rule was first suggested in April 2022, the ban polled widely unpopular in several swing states, including Georgia, North Carolina and Nevada. (RELATED: Biden HHS Doles Out $600K To University For ‘Anti-Disinformation’ Study About Menthol Cigs In Black Communities)

“Black voters overwhelmingly backed Joe Biden in 2020, but polls show they aren’t nearly as excited to back him in 2024,” a national Republican strategist told the Daily Caller. “The data shows menthol cigarettes are overwhelmingly preferred by Black smokers, so some may perceive this ban as an unfair attack on them. At a time when polls show Biden is in an incredibly tight race, I’m surprised he would risk upsetting such a key constituency by banning menthol cigarettes.”

Packs of menthol-flavored and non-menthol cigarettes are displayed for sale in a smoke shop on April 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to ban both menthol-flavored cigarettes and flavored cigars in a move hailed by public health experts which could potentially lead to 1.3 million people quitting smoking. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Packs of menthol-flavored and non-menthol cigarettes are displayed for sale in a smoke shop on April 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The first version of the menthol ban proposed by the Biden administration used several euphemisms to suggest it was pushing to level health outcomes between different racial groups, adding that the menthol ban would “reduce tobacco-related health disparities and advance health equity.”

If Biden moves forward with the ban, political operatives are gearing up to run attack ads on the president, according to Fox News.

“The ban could potentially create political problems for Biden,” Mark R. Weaver, a GOP consultant, previously told the Daily Caller.