No more menthols

I hate cigarettes and the tobacco industry as much as the next non-smoker - however, I am concerned about recent talks to urge the FDA to ban mentholated cigarettes exclusively. (The link is a year old, but for some reason, a number of articles have come out from American Journal of Public Health this month and last about menthols)

African Americans are most likely to consume mentholated cigarettes and a ban would affect 90% of black smokers. If I could wave a magic wand, I would like to get rid of cigarettes, but sadly, reality is not so convenient. I still wish to look more into this topic, but I made some other preliminary comments elsewhere (link also presents related articles to the ban of menthols - seriously, haven't seen lazier public health/policy papers in quite a while).

...the fact that the majority of menthol smokers, if facing a ban, will turn to regular cigarettes presents another problem. It promotes the erroneous message that non-mentholated cigarettes, consumed by non-Blacks, are inherently safer than menthols – which is not true when you look at long-term outcomes – like lung cancer and even short-term outcomes like various biomarker loads...
But more importantly, a conversation about banning menthol cigarettes without a discussion on the inadvertent consequences of such a ban on minority communities, who are disproportionately harshly penalized by America's war against illicit drugs is a reckless one. LinkSee Warehousing of African Americans in prisons due to crack cocaine (and not the more affluent powder cocaine).


  1. Afolabi said...:

    This has nothing to do with this post and I know your not a music reviewer- but what do you think of Asa's new music video? lol

  1. Nne said...:

    No worries about the unrelated-ness. Haven't seen it yet - have been pushing it off. When I do, will post on it.