Anti-menthol advocacy campaign aimed at reducing menthol consumption among African-American young adults and promoting policies that protect Black communities from tobacco companies abusive advertising tactics.
Through the Youth Against Menthol project, the NAACP in partnership with the Truth Initiative are educating, mobilizing, and activating young adults across the U.S. to take action against menthol consumption and Big Tobacco targeted marketing.
About 85 percent of African-American smokers aged 12+ smoke menthol cigarettes, including 70.5 percent of African-American high school and middle school smokers, compared to 29 percent of White smokers. According to a 2013 U.S. Food and Drug Administration report, menthol tobacco-products have a much greater health risk than non-menthol tobacco-products, increasing smoking start-up and addiction, and making it harder for smokers to quit. Menthol use among young African Americans is largely due to heavy retail availability and overrun marketing and promotion efforts that target Black communities. For our health and well-being, we need young people in particular to know these facts and push back!
A Closer Look at Menthol:
- Menthol reduces the harshness of smoke due to its cooling effects on the mouth and throat, making it more appealing and easier to smoke.
- Types of mentholated tobacco-products include cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos (i.e. Black & Mild), chewing tobacco, hookah, e-cigarettes and vapes.
- The tobacco industry intentionally markets to youth and African American communities to attract new “replacement” smokers and keep current smokers addicted.
- There are 10x more menthol advertisements and retail promotions in Black communities than in any other neighborhoods.
Share on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram photos of tobacco ads in your community to expose tobacco companies deceptive practices, using the hashtag #YouthAgainstMenthol
Organize a forum in your community to inform residents about the harmful risks of menthol and it’s negative impact on your community, as well as advocate for policies that restrict or limit the sale and promotion of mentholated tobacco-products.
Encourage your family, friends, and loved ones who smoke to resist the desire and kick the habit; support them as they try to quit.