Government Watchdog Group Sues Biden Administration Over Menthol Cigarette Regulations

Government Watchdog Group Sues Biden Administration Over Menthol Cigarette Regulations

  • April 17, 2024

Staff, INKL

A government watchdog group, Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), has filed a federal lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for failing to provide documents related to proposed regulations targeting menthol cigarettes. PPT alleges that HHS violated its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by not fulfilling four FOIA requests submitted late last year.

PPT, a nonpartisan project dedicated to upholding a single standard for leaders, aims to ensure transparency in government actions. The group’s lawsuit highlights the lack of response from HHS and its subagency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), regarding the requested documents on the proposed federal menthol cigarette ban.

Michael Chamberlain, the head of PPT, criticized the Biden administration and FDA for the delay in providing the requested records, suggesting that there may be undisclosed factors influencing the proposed regulations. The lawsuit emphasizes the importance of public understanding of the administration’s decision-making process.

Despite the Biden administration’s commitment to transparency, HHS has not produced the requested documents or communicated the scope of information it intends to disclose. PPT argues that HHS has failed to meet its statutory obligations under FOIA, prompting the group to seek judicial review.

Read more