The Center for Black Health & Equity’s annual observance of No Menthol Sunday falls on May 21st this year. This year’s theme, Focus on Victory, Go Against the Grain, encourages us to stand up against the tobacco industry and create tobacco-free communities that are healthy and just.
- Menthol is a minty flavor that makes it easier to start smoking and harder to quit.
- Most Black people who smoke use menthols (85%).
- Most minorities who smoke use menthols.
- Most kids who start smoking try menthols first.
- Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
The menthol issue is a social justice issue:
- The tobacco industry intentionally tries to get Black people to buy mentholated tobacco
products, offering discounts and placing more (and larger) advertisements for menthols
in Black communities.
- The tobacco industry gives money to Black political leaders, HBCUs, festivals, Black-
owned newspapers and other prominent civil rights organizations.
- Improving health outcomes for Black people will require leaders to tear down the racial
and social systems that have kept the tobacco industry in charge.
Source: No Menthol Sunday 2023 Toolkit
This short film from the Truth Initiative, Black Lives/Black Lungs: The Journey of a Stolen Leaf, explores how the Tobacco Industry is using marketing and flavors to attract youth and Black populations in particular.
Looking for resources to help you quit? Visit our Quit Help page.