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No Menthol Sunday

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Download the 2022 Toolkit

The Center for Black Health & Equity’s No Menthol Sunday is an annual opportunity to engage faith communities in tough conversations about how menthol and tobacco addiction have robbed us of our health for generations. The tobacco industry has stripped our community's finances, engaged in targeted predatory marketing, and attempted to dupe young people with flavors like menthol. Their industry execs have once said that they don't smoke their own deadly products--they reserve that right for "the young, the poor, the Black and stupid."


Those are fighting words.


So after a decades-long battle for health justice in tobacco control, we are embarking upon a major win. In 2022, we anticipate that the Food & Drug Administration will finally issue standard regulations that will prohibit the sale of tobacco products with any characterizing flavors including menthol. This is historic! Just as it was written in Isaiah 55:11, we are now seeing the fulfillment of what we had long set out to accomplish.


While we expect total victory, we know we can also expect opposition from every side. That means we must prepare for a bare knuckle final fight to the finish. This year, Faith communities must secure support from African American stakeholders and ensure they understand the benefits of the new law.


We speak loudly against social, economic and governmental systems that perpetuate health disparities and keep tobacco use at status quo.


No Menthol Sunday serves to raise our consciousness about important issues in Black health. When people of faith remain vigilant, educate youth, and inspire community action, we will begin to move toward total health justice. It's a new day!


Fight The Good Fight


After a 10-year fight, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act in 2020. This was a major win as it eliminated the sale of most flavored tobacco products including mint and menthol! But now a total ban on menthol is in the hands of the Food & Drug Administration. FDA). They know that African Americans smoke less but die more from smoking related illness. They know that menthol makes it harder to start smoking and more difficult to quit. And they know that 85% of African American smokers choose menthols. Yet, they have not instituted a ban.


The FDA has been issued a court order to respond to a petition for a menthol ban. You can join the fight by asking your local representatives to support a ban on menthol.

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