Petition Closed
Petitioning FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg and 2 others

Tell the FDA: Stop Cigarette Companies From Preying On African-Americans

Menthol cigarettes smokers are less likely to quit than non menthol cigarette smokers. Despite this, cigarette companies aggressively market brands like Kool, Camel and Newport to the African-American community. The FDA recently announced it is considering banning menthol cigarettes. Sign this petition to support the ban.

The tobacco industry has a well-documented history of developing and marketing mentholated brands to racial and ethnic minorities and youth. In fact, 80 percent of African-American smokers smoke menthols. Cigarette companies have distributed free cigarettes to black children living in low-income housing, targeted print ads in African-American publications and sponsored hip-hop and jazz events. Most of the cigarettes advertised are menthols.

The FDA announced in early April that they are considering a ban on menthol cigarettes. A coalition of civil rights groups - including the NAACP - and public health groups are calling on the FDA to ban this type of cigarettes due to their added health risks and the predatory marketing practiced used by tobacco companies. Sign this petition to send a message to the FDA that you, too, support banning menthols and ending the horrendous practice of marketing these addictive products to African-Americans.

Letter to
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg
FDA's Center for Tobacco Products
press officer, FDA's Center for Tobacco Products Jeffrey Ventura
I am writing today to ask that the FDA completely ban all menthol cigarette products.

In 2009, the FDA banned candy, clove and fruit-flavored cigarettes after it was proven that they were marketed to children and that the flavors masked the harsh taste of tobacco. Banning menthol cigarettes would be another way to fight the public health problem that is tobacco addiction.

Cigarette companies aggressively market brands like Kool, Camel and Newport to African-Americans - 80 percent of whom smoke menthols.

Cigarette companies have distributed free cigarettes to black children living in low-income housing, targeted print ads in African-American publications and sponsored hip-hop and jazz events. What type of cigarette do they usually advertise? Menthols.

According to a 2010 report titled, "What Menthol Smokers Would Do If Menthol Cigarettes Were No Longer Sold", 39.0% of menthol smokers and 46.8% of African American menthol smokers report they would quit smoking if cigarettes were no longer sold.

A coalition of civil rights groups - including the NAACP - and public health groups are calling on the FDA to ban this type of cigarettes due to their added health risks and the predatory marketing practiced used by tobacco companies. I stand with them and urge you to approve a full ban of all menthol cigarette products.