Decades ago, tobacco Industry research revealed that menthol amplifies nicotine addiction, especially in African Americans; the more melanin in a smoker’s skin, the greater menthol’s impact. Armed with this knowledge, Big Tobacco methodically marketed menthol combustible cigarettes to African Americans; the more melanin in a smoker’s skin, the greater menthol’s impact.
(In 2009, when the federal government banned flavored cigarettes, menthol was the blatant exemption.)
Last April, after years of inexplicable delay, a federal lawsuit brought by plaintiffs including the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council forced FDA to finally announce it would “begin the rule-making process” to end the sale of menthol cigarettes-but that could take years.
That’s why the Center for Black Health and Equity is fighting deadly menthol tobacco products in real time at community levels across the country. In this week’s episode we interview the Center’s Greg Bolden about the No Menthol Movement in Atlanta; local partner D’Jillisser Kelly of the H.E.A.R.T coalition will discuss on-the-ground efforts including the Great American Smokeout on November 18th.