President Joe Biden's administration is planning to seek a ban on menthol cigarettes, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The move, which is expected to be unveiled this week, could eliminate more than a third of all cigarettes sold in the U.S., the paper said. It stems from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration finding in 2013 that menthols are harder to quit than regular cigarettes and likely pose a higher health risk. They are also deemed more attractive to young people because the menthol masks the harsh quality of cigarette smoke. A nationwide menthol ban would take years to implement, and industry leaders have signaled that they might fight a ban in court. Tobacco stocks were mixed on the news with Phillip Morris International Inc. (PM) down 0.4% and British American Tobacco ADR's (BATS.LN) down 0.8%, while Altria Group Inc. (MO) was up 0.1%.
-Ciara Linnane; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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