New Data Reveals 77% of Black Smokers Prefer Menthol Cigarettes

“Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that approximately 77% of Black smokers in the United States prefer menthol cigarettes. This trend is attributed to active promotion by the tobacco industry of menthol cigarette products within African American communities in urban areas.

Scientists at Yale University summarized in a 2012 report that menthol-flavored cigarettes are more addictive than regular cigarettes. The menthol flavor makes tobacco products more tolerable, thereby increasing nicotine addiction and the risk of smoking-related diseases. The study also identified greater risks posed by menthol cigarettes to minors.

However, advocates such as Gwen Carr, whose son died following a conflict with the New York Police over unpaid cigarette taxes, criticize menthol bans. Carr believes that flavor bans alone are insufficient, emphasizing the need for education and treatment.

Carr stated, ‘Menthol itself is not lethal; the harmful component is nicotine. If you want to ban smoking, don’t make it about racial discrimination. Either ban it altogether or don’t ban it at all.’

Reverend Al Sharpton shares similar concerns, predicting a surge in illegal sales following a menthol ban.

According to statistics from the American Lung Association, the ratio of Black smokers to white smokers in the United States is 16.8% and 16.6%, respectively. However, the number of Black smokers using menthol cigarettes is more than three times that of white smokers.”

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