“African Americanization” of Menthols

Black members of Congress, all but one of whom are Democrats, were 19 times as likely as their Dem peers to receive campaign cash last year from Lorillard Tobacco, according to an analysis by FairWarning of records from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The election campaign overlapped a debate about whether menthol would be added to a list of flavorings banned from use in cigarettes. Not coincidentally, black smokers favor menthols—which account for about 30% of US cig sales—by a wide margin.

“Banning menthol would be politically difficult under any circumstances, but observers say it will be impossible without strong support from African American leadership groups.”


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