By MATTHEW PERRONE
AP Health Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Dozens of interest groups have met with White House staffers to try to influence a long-awaited plan to ban menthol cigarettes. That cigarette flavor is the only one still on the market. It accounts for more than a third of U.S. cigarette sales. The lobbying blitz by anti-smoking groups, retailers and non-profits underscores the political and economic implications of banning menthol. Nearly 40 virtual meetings were scheduled on the menthol issue. More than half of them were requested by groups that traditionally oppose tobacco restrictions. Almost all the groups opposing the ban receive funding from tobacco companies.