US President Joe Biden faces a choice to impose a strict cigarette ban that could hurt his prospects in the 2024 election. The Biden administration is under pressure from states to decide as soon as possible to ban menthol cigarettes.
According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, President Joe Biden is facing growing pressure from top Democrats to insist on banning cigarette flavors to avoid getting into trouble by alienating African American voters ahead of the 2024 election.
Last month, the Biden administration slowed the pace of a nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes because of political opposition and warnings that could anger African-American voters who have left the president. It is expected that in March of this year – a delay from the original January – the rule will be finally announced.
President Joe Biden, under increasing pressure to avoid alienating African American voters in the upcoming 2024 election, is caught between a rock and a hard place with his proposal to ban all flavors of cigarettes. Late last year, the Biden administration implemented laws banning menthol cigarettes nationwide amid a political backlash and warnings of potential discontent among African American voters at the polls.
However, more than 20 Democratic-led states, including California, have argued that the health benefits of banning cigarettes outweigh the political risks Biden might face in an election.
A coalition led by California Attorney General Rob Bonta submitted a statement to the White House arguing that it is a “now” to reduce tobacco use and save lives by banning the sale of cigarette products.
Notably, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has emerged as a leading surrogate for Biden in his re-election campaign. He is working aggressively to reduce the risk of a Biden primary. Recently, a group of menthol cigarette supporters held a large-scale “menthol cigarette funeral” on the square in front of the White House.
At the same time, however, Biden has come under fire for trying to decriminalize marijuana. However, Biden’s top officials insist that banning menthol cigarettes would also help Americans gradually wean themselves off their dependence.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said, “The proposed rules will help prevent children from becoming the next generation of smokers and help adult smokers quit.” In addition, the proposed provisions are an important step in promoting health and equity and could significantly reduce the health disparities caused by cigarettes.