Menthol is a substance found in mint plants, and can also be synthesized in a laboratory. This creates a cooling sensation in tobacco products and masks the harshness of the smoke, making it more tolerable. Some studies have shown that menthol also acts as a mild anesthetic. Back in 1953, when menthol was not widely used, a Philip Morris Company poll showed that 2 percent of white smokers preferred a menthol brand, while 5 percent of black smokers preferred Drs. According to a review of the documents of the tobacco industry by the Garden. Was Published in 2004 by the medical journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research.
Matthew L. Myers, president of the tobacco-free children’s campaign, said, “The industry looked at that and said, ‘We are missing an opportunity, and deliberately targeted the African-American community.” The menthol also helps fund the ban and the African American Tobacco Leadership Council.
Tobacco companies have well-documented records made public from several lawsuits Black communities targeted with menthol Cigarettes for decades. They distributed free samples, offered discounts and sponsored countless concerts and special events, among them the famous Cool Jazz Festival. Tobacco companies also achieved good will by advertising in newspapers and magazines, meant for a black readership – and by donating money to civil rights organizations.
Companies have also been frequent donors to black political candidates, and they have been generous supporters Congress Black Caucus And the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. The executives of Juul and Altria, who own Philip Morris and have a 35 percent stake in Juul, serve on the foundation’s corporate advisory board.
The Biden administration still lacks a permanent FDA commissioner, and acting commissioner Drs. Janet Woodcock has not been vocal on tobacco issues. But public health advocates were delighted by the confirmation of former California Attorney General Javier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services. In California, Mr. Becerra took aggressive action against tobacco and e-cigarette companies. In August, California became the second state – after Massachusetts’ leadership – to ban the sale of all scented tobacco products. (An industry-sponsored referendum to repeal the law is pending, which will be on the ballot in November 2022.)
The tobacco industry is in a difficult place. For many years, the largest companies, Altria and RJ Reynolds Tobacco, now owned by British American Tobacco, have asked themselves to turn their companies into responsible businesses that prevent young people from smoking and produce less harmful products. Are eager to develop. For critics, the industry advocates for protecting its menthol brands, which it insists.