Making Menthol Black
For decades, Big Tobacco targeted African Americans with the sale of menthol cigarettes.
They profiled black communities, appropriated black culture in their ads, and flooded majority-black neighborhoods with menthol marketing. Today, nearly 90% of African American smokers use menthols.
The minty flavor masks the harshness of the smoke, and right now, 48.4% of middle school smokers and 54% of high school smokers smoke menthols. This starter product has infiltrated communities, and it’s the one remaining flavored cigarette that hasn’t been banned.
Banning menthol tobacco products could save countless lives.
Nearly 45% of African American menthol smokers say they would quit smoking altogether if menthols were banned, as opposed to switching to a non-flavored product. If a ban on menthol had passed in 2011, it could have saved an estimated 320,000 lives.
We can’t change the fact that Big Tobacco spent nearly 50 years targeting African American communities.
But we can still turn their damage around. Cities across the US are starting to ban menthol. We have to keep the pressure mounting. Join us to get involved.