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Biden admin’s proposed menthol cigarette ban could become liability in 2024: ‘Unintended consequences’

The Biden administration’s proposed menthol cigarette ban could become a thorn in the president’s side during the 2024 elections, political operatives planning to run ads attacking him have told Fox News Digital.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially proposed rules prohibiting menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars in April 2022 to “prevent children from becoming the next generation of smokers” and to “help adult smokers quit.” After missing its August deadline, the agency said it remains a top issue, and they are nearing the end of the process.

“Finalizing these two product standards remains a top priority for the FDA,” Brian King, the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, told Fox News Digital. “The posting of both rules on the [White House’s Office of Management and Budget] website means they have reached the final step of review for regulatory documents.”

The proposed ban has faced worries from critics who say it could lead to heightened border problems with Mexican drug cartels saturating the U.S. black market with the prohibited products. Politico reported that it has also divided Black leaders, with some arguing it would lead to over-policing against the community.

“We expect a two- to three-year cycle from the day the FDA passes any rule to the time such rule is finalized after the likely court challenges,” Jain Gaurav, an analyst for Barclays, told the Winston-Salem Journal. “We don’t expect a menthol cigarette ban from the FDA implemented (if it were to pass) at least until 2026.”

The White House did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

Joe Schoffstall is a politics producer/reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Joe.Schoffstall@Fox.com and on Twitter: @joeschoffstall

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