Menthol cigarettes are still on the market after the Biden administration delayed its ban once again. Instead of announcing the new policy, on Dec. 6 — months after an initial spring 2023 deadline — the White House updated its regulatory agenda to reflect a new deadline of March 2024.

When the rules are finally released, the ban will prohibit the manufacturing, distribution, and retailing of menthol cigarettes. It will not illegalize the individual use of the product.

But the deferral comes amid opposition from lobbyists and Black criminal justice advocates who say the ban could increase over-policing in the Black community. 

Tobacco industry lobbyists attended a Nov. 20 meeting with White House officials about the ban. Black leaders and civil rights groups were also in attendance — including Ben Chavis of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, attorney Benjamin Crump, and Dwayne Crawford, executive director of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), an organization that lists global cigarette producer, Altria, as one of its sponsors

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