It is time to end the sale of flavored tobacco products

In the Los Angeles Times, Revs. John Cager and Peter Laarman published a powerful piece calling on state leaders to pass Senate Bill 793, end the targeting of Black communities by the tobacco industry and once and for all end the sale of menthol in California. Read it here: Op-Ed: Big Tobacco helped destroy Black Americans’ health. Banning menthols could help improve it

The two write: “At a time of national reckoning over the mistreatment of Black people, Black leaders in the state have largely stayed silent — including members of the California Legislative Black Caucus — regarding this matter critical to Black health.”

We need to take action now to end the sale of flavored tobacco products for good in California.

Gummy bear, cotton candy, cherry crush, mango, smooth menthol. We’re not talking about candy. These are just some of the 15,000 flavors tobacco companies are pushing to hook our kids on their products – like e-cigarettes, cigars and menthol cigarettes. 

It’s working. E-cigarette use among teens skyrocketed by 135% in the past two years. Today, lured by the flavors, 27.5% of high schoolers are using e-cigarettes. That’s why the Surgeon General and the FDA have called youth e-cigarette use a “national epidemic.” 

The flavors lure them in, and the nicotine keeps them hooked. And the tobacco industry continues to target vulnerable communities with menthol cigarettes, which young people and African Americans disproportionately smoke. 

It’s time for California to once again be a national leader and protect the health of our kids by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products in our state. Please take action here and tell your lawmakers to fight back against the tobacco industry. They have killed enough.