The US FDA proposes a ban on menthol cigarettes and faces challenges from Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Newport and Camel cigarettes are stacked on a shelf in a tobacco shop in New York

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday proposed a US menthol cigarette ban, a win for anti-tobacco and civil rights groups, but a move that could wipe out a huge revenue share for cigarette makers.

The FDA is working to issue proposed product standards within the next year to ban menthol as a flavoring in cigarettes and to ban all flavors in cigars, the agency said.

It will likely take years for the ban to be implemented, given the potential legal challenges posed by the tobacco industry, which has repeatedly cracked down on the FDA to try to block tobacco control.

The decision was made when the FDA was forced to act in court until April 29 to respond to a 2013 citizen petition requesting a ban on menthol cigarettes. According to activists, black Americans have been hardest hit by the industry’s marketing of the product.

“Banning menthol – the last legal flavoring – in cigarettes and banning all flavors in cigars will help save lives, especially for people disproportionately affected by these deadly products,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in a statement. (https: //

According to an estimate by Bernstein, British American Tobacco (NYSE 🙂 Plc generates 55% of its cigarette sales in the US from menthols, led by the Newport brand, compared to 30% for Imperial Brands (OTC 🙂 Plc and 17% for Altria Group (NYSE 🙂 Inc.

Altria, BATS and Imperial Brands shares fell about 1% after the FDA announcement

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