Black communities suffer without a ban on menthol cigarettes

On Nov. 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a bold proposal to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and restrict the sale of flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems, more commonly known as e-cigarettes. As an advocate for black health and public health, the NAACP commends this decision and acknowledges it is a step in the right direction.

For those who have recognized and pushed against the tobacco industry’s successful, targeted marketing of menthol cigarettes to African-Americans, the FDA’s recent stance is promising and long overdue. More than 88 percent of African-American smokers choose menthols, and tobacco use is a significant contributor to heart disease, cancer and stroke — the three leading causes of death among African-Americans. A ban on mentholated…

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