Biden drops menthol cigarette ban to court black voters – WSJ — RT World News

The plan divided the African American community, the Democrats' traditional base

The White House has indefinitely postponed plans to ban menthol cigarettes, after polls showed a sharp decline in African American support for President Joe Biden ahead of the November election, according to The Wall Street Journal.

About 81% of Black smokers used menthol as of 2020, a year in which Biden received 91% of the Black vote. However, recent polls show that only 68% of African Americans plan to support the Democrat this time.

“Clearly there are still more conversations to be had, and this will take much longer.” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra He said in a statement Friday, noting the backlash the proposed ban has received from civil rights and criminal justice reform groups.

It was the ban Suggested for the first time In April 2021, as part of the Biden campaign “Cancer Moon Trip” initiative. The White House argued that banning menthol cigarettes would help “colored people” Improving health outcomes. Menthol accounts for more than 30% of all cigarettes sold in the United States each year, and is most popular among black and Hispanic smokers.

But the plan ultimately sharply divided the Democratic voter base. Susan Rice, a former domestic policy adviser to Biden, said delaying the ban “Putting more black lives at risk” While the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) supported the ban on flavored tobacco products as… “The issue of social justice”

The ACLU countered that a ban would create a black market for menthol and lead to an increase in negative interactions between police and African Americans, all of which would exacerbate the problem. “It disproportionately affects people of color, as well as prioritizing criminalization over public health and harm reduction.”

Altria Group and Reynolds American, the two largest cigarette manufacturers in the United States, also lobbied against the ban.

Canada effectively banned menthol by 2018, and the European Union did the same in 2020. A study from the University of Waterloo in Canada predicted, based on this ban, that the White House proposal would cause 1.3 million smokers to quit within two years, including About 380 thousand people. African Americans.

“The science is clear that there will be a tremendous health benefit from eliminating menthol cigarettes.” said Mitch Zeller, former director of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products. Zeller indicated that political considerations were behind the Biden administration's decision.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, it is “Menthol cigarettes potentially pose a higher public health risk than that posed by non-menthol cigarettes.”

He added: “This is a logical plan that could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly, an Illinois Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus' Mental Health Fund.

Menthol is currently banned in two US states, California and Massachusetts, and more than 100 municipalities across the country.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button