Find out where menthol cigarettes, other flavored tobacco products, social injustice intersect in the African American community

DID YOU KNOW? Tobacco companies have strategically marketed tobacco products to appeal to racial and ethnic communities for decades. The most striking example is menthol cigarettes. These cigarettes, which are easier to smoke and harder to quit, have long been marketed to the black community. About 85 percent of all black smokers use menthol cigarettes, a rate that is nearly three times higher than white smokers.

We encourage you to LISTEN NOW to the recent radio interview with African American Tobacco Control Leadership Co-Chair, Carol McGruder interviewed by KDEE 97.5 FM, Jay King. 

In Sacramento neighborhoods with more African Americans, mentholated cigarettes and flavored cigars are cheaper and advertised more than in White communities. As a result, 9 out of 10 African American smokers use menthol flavored products at nearly 3 times the rate as whites. This disparity is also true in lower income neighborhoods.

Smoking is still the major cause of death—killing more people than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. Also, most people don’t know that almost twice as many women die from lung cancer than breast cancer.

For tobacco companies to replace the 3,000 smokers that die each day, they must target kids, people living with lower incomes, African Americans and other marginalized communities.

Be sure to learn more about what is happening on a local level in the Greater Sacramento Valley Region with the SOL-Saving Our Legacy Project.


For more programs and resources offered by AATCLC-African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council go to:

The California Smoker’s Helpline can help you or a loved one