Biden administration’s FDA makes a recovery out of the rough with new rules intended to ban mentholated tobacco products, which cause smoking-related illnesses, the number one killer of Black Americans.
Menthol has been the tobacco industry’s recruitment tool for far too long. It has been added to cigarettes for nearly a century, masking tobacco’s harsh flavor, making the smoke feel smoother and easier to inhale – but that ease comes with a price. The smoothness of menthol allows smokers to inhale more deeply, so harmful particles can settle lower in the lungs. Menthol cigarettes are also harder to stop – people who use menthol cigarettes have a lower rate of successfully quitting.
The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC), a nonprofit consortium of organizations dedicated to research, community collaboration and public engagement, is working to stop the preventable deaths of African Americans due to the consumption of menthol-flavored cigarettes engineered by the tobacco companies to addict Black people and others including Asian, Latino and LGBTQ populations.
The city of Chicago made history when it passed tobacco control legislation in mid-December that will regulate where menthol and other flavored tobacco products can be sold. Their bold ordinance will create a flavored tobacco buffer zone and prohibit the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products within 500 feet of Chicago schools.