It looks like Congress and the White House are finally going to put a stop to menthol cigarettes because they are killing Blacks. About 85 percent of Black smokers use Newport, Kool and other menthol brands that are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than plain tobacco, according to the Food and Drug Administration. The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council has been pushing for menthol bans, calling menthol cigarettes and cigarillos “main vectors” of disease and death among Black Americans.
But let’s not act like this fight is purely because America wants to see Black people get healthy. This started because white parents are looking to ban flavored e-cigarettes, which include menthol flavors, and thus became a cause for concern.
“I have no doubt that it’s time for a ban on menthol,” Rep. Karen Bass, of California, who led the Congressional Black Caucus during the last Congress, told the Times. “We should never allow a chemical that is specifically targeted to a population, that increases death, no matter who it is. In this case, it’s menthol and the Black population.
See “Menthol Cigarettes Were Aggressively Marketed to Black People. Now Congress Is Looking to Ban Them” by Stephen A. Crockett Jr. on The Root website (March 22, 2021)
See also “Menthol Cigarettes Kill Many Black People. A Ban May Finally Be Near” by Sheila Kaplan on the New York Times website (March 22, 2021)