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Arizona attorney general presses Biden on proposed menthol cigarette ban

Arizona’s top law enforcement officer wants President Joe Biden to follow through on banning menthol cigarettes.

A letter from Attorney General Kris Mayes and peers aims to dispel arguments of unintended consequences if a proposed ban long in the making takes effect.

Most of the hundreds of thousands of deaths that officials estimate a ban on menthol cigarettes could prevent would be among Black Americans.

But a ban proposed by the Food and Drug Administration hit an unexpected delay when the White House decided to continue review until at least March.

A new letter to Biden signed by Mayes says a menthol-cigarette ban would not lead to abusive policing of Black communities because those who profit would face enforcement -- not individual smokers.

The letter from 21 attorneys general also aims to persuade Biden that a ban would not cause a rise in illicit sales.

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Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.