At a time when racism has been declared a public health crisis, we need to also call out the racist practices of tobacco companies.
For more than 60 years the tobacco industry has intentionally targeted the Black community – and other communities of color – hooking generations of youth of color on minty-sweet menthol cigarettes and other candy-flavored tobacco products, and profiting off addiction, disease and death.
The tobacco industry’s intentional marketing tactics have ensured Black communities choose deadlier menthol cigarettes over regular cigarettes.
We can no longer allow Big Tobacco or their enablers to profit from a history of systemic racism that continues to put the health of Black people at risk. For the past 60 years, tobacco companies have targeted Black Americans with slick marketing campaigns. In the 1950s, fewer than 10% of Black Americans who smoked used menthol cigarettes. Today, 85% of all Black smokers use menthol products. Their popularity in the Black community has had a devastating impact on the racial health disparities we see today.
By voting Yes on 31, we will send a message to the tobacco industry that we don’t want menthol tobacco products sold in our state.