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48.4% of middle school smokers and 54% of high school smokers smoke menthols.
In an effort to market to African Americans in the 80s, one tobacco company said their brand "must be seen as authentic" and "not as a big white company's tactic to sell to blacks."
Source: "Salem Black Initiative Program Brand Team Ideation Session." Truth Tobacco Industry Documents. 03 Aug. 1989. Report.
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.
As long ago as 1969, a tobacco company executive stated that they had "taken a great many steps to avoid advertising directed to young people." Yet 10 years later, they supplied their products to be featured in The Muppet Movie.
Source: Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. American Tobacco Collection. July 22, 1969. Page: 82 of 197 in PDF. Document Type: Congressional Testimony, Legal Bates Number: 968062385/2581
Big Tobacco spends more than 80% of their marketing budget- nearly $7B per year, to make cigarettes cheaper.
Source: Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2015
Nearly 90% of African American smokers use menthols.
Nearly 95% of regular smokers start by the age of 21.
Source: The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (US) Office on Smoking and Health. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2014.