Call to the President: Ban Menthol Cigarettes
In 2013, the FDA found that menthol-flavored tobacco products are an even greater risk to public health than unflavored products, especially in African Americans. Now, African America doctors and a nonprofit anti-smoking advocacy group called the African-American Tobacco Control Leadership Council are asking President Obama to ban menthol cigarettes.
Studies show menthols are highly preferred by blacks who smoke. As many as three-fourths of all African American smokers between the ages of 18 and 25 and two-thirds between the ages of 12 and 17 smoke Newport menthols. According to a 2010 report from the CDC, 83 percent of black adults who smoke prefer menthol cigarettes.
Smoking remains a serious health risk and is the primary preventable cause of death in African Americans. The American Lung Association reports that smoking-related conditions kill 45,000 people who are black each year. The FDA banned fruit-flavored tobacco products in 2009 because they were found to increase smoking in young people and lead to greater smoking addiction in all smokers. It may be (past) time to do the same with menthols.
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