Ban Tobacco Products, Especially Menthol Ones - CDC Report Says

Americans Want to Close This "Lethal Racist Loophole" - Expert
 
WASHINGTON - Feb. 2, 2023 - PRLog -- Ban Tobacco Products, Especially Menthol Ones - CDC Report
Americans Want to Close This "Lethal Racist Loophole" - Expert

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 2, 2023) -  According to a just released CDC survey, 57.3% of respondents supported a policy to prohibit the sale of all tobacco products, while a substantially larger percentage [62.3%] supported a policy to prohibit the sale of menthol cigarettes.

It appears that everyone is increasingly realizing that permitting menthol in cigarettes, while banning other flavors, is a "lethal racist loophole" which is addicting millions of Black kids, as well as killing and crippling many Black adults, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

Fortunately, the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] is reportedly poised to ban menthol in cigarettes; the result of a lengthy battle and recent law suit, says Banzhaf, "The Man Behind the Ban on Cigarette Commercials."

The lawsuit to finally force the FDA to close this "lethal racist loophole" was brought by Action on Smoking and Health [ASH] and other organizations, and subsequently joined by the American Medical Association [AMA].

Banzhaf, the founder of ASH, has fought the use of menthol in cigarettes for dozens of years, and brought  the earlier law suit which first provided the basis for the FDA to declare nicotine to be an addictive as well as a deadly drug, contrary to the conclusions of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking.
With all the emphasis and concern about black youngsters being killed by police, the FDA is ignoring and even exacerbating a much more serious problem in terms of lives lost, suggests Banzhaf.

For example, AATCLC has complained: "For every black man murdered, there are 6-8 dying of tobacco diseases. We can't wait until what's happening with police brutality is solved to address thousands dying from cigarettes."

Similar concerns were echoed by the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network which protested that "there is a social injustice in the predatory marketing and death related to menthol in our community."

Indeed, it's nothing less than institutional racism, declares Natasha Phelps, Staff Attorney/Lead Minnesota Policy, Public Health Law Center: "The tobacco industry has long taken advantage of institutional racism. The scale of the problem is so great that we identify menthol as our commercial tobacco team's top priority."

Banzhaf, who has also been called the "Ralph Nader of the Tobacco Industry," argues that this legal action is a small step towards achieving Health Equity, a concern dramatized by the recent revelation that African Americans are dying at a far higher rate of COVID-19 than other segments of the population.

jbanzhaf3ATgmail.com @profbanzhaf

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