Biden Walks Back Menthol Ban To Appease Black Voters Ahead Of Election

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Menthol Cigarettes
Photo Credit: Officer, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

President Joe Biden decided to nix a proposal that would ban menthol cigarettes amid concerns that doing so might alienate black voters ahead of the presidential election.

According to The Wall Street Journal, menthol cigarette sales represent about one-third of the total cigarette market in the United States, with the African American community being the predominant consumers.

While smokers in the United States represent only 11% of the population, with both black and white people maintaining a daily nicotine habit at equal rates, an overwhelming 80% of black smokers prefer menthol.

The FDA has warned that menthols are essentially the gateway cigarette, and are the preferred smoke of teenagers due to the flavor’s ability to mask the acrid taste of tobacco.

Rev. Al Sharpton and civil rights groups argue that prohibiting the sale of menthol cigarettes would inadvertently give rise to a surge in black market menthols, which would disproportionately affect the black community and lead to racial profiling by police agencies nationwide.

“This rule has garnered historic attention and the public comment period has yielded an immense amount of feedback, including from various elements of the civil rights and criminal justice movement,” Department of Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra remarked.

“It’s clear that there are still more conversations to have, and that will take significantly more time.”

The decision to retract the ban proposal was reportedly driven by the administration’s contemplation of the “political repercussions” it could face, as the president is “underperforming” with with Black voters.

It’s certainly a change of tune from Becerra, who had previously touted the ban as a deterrent to keep “children from becoming the next generation of smokers” and aid adult smokers in quitting for good.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson expressed deep disappointment over the administration’s decision, describing it as “a blow to the Black community, who continue to be unfairly targeted and unjustly killed by Big Tobacco.”

“Let’s be clear – valuing Black lives should not be used as a pawn to get our people to the polls, but rather a platform that our leaders refuse to step down from,” he noted.

“The NAACP is outraged and disgusted, but we refuse to be deterred.”


  1. More proof that the democrats do not care about anything but power. Allow menthol cigarettes, which are purchased more by Blacks, to get them to vote for them. Forget their health, it is all about retaining power

  2. Biden and democrats think blacks are simple, uninformed voters and can be “bought” by not banning menthol cigarettes. If they are correct our country is in big trouble.

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