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Coalition in California gets back up from gov't officials to fight menthol & the tobacco industry.

by Chelsey Sellars | The Center For Black Health & Equity Communications Specialist

The FDA is working on banning mentholated tobacco, but groups in California do not want to wait until then. The Committee to Protect California Kids has come together to support a campaign called Yes to Protect Kids, an initiative to end the sale of candy-flavored tobacco products

“This initiative will also include menthol, a flavor that has been heavily marketed to African Americans, and I’m proud to support the coalition in this effort,” said Delmonte Jefferson, Executive Director for The Center for Black Health & Equity.

The coalition includes the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, Parents Against Vaping e-Cigarettes, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

“Public health is not political, or at least it shouldn’t be,” said Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis. She and Senator Alex Padilla have joined these public health advocates to push for tobacco control.

The California legislature passed SB 793 with bipartisan support in 2020. The law ends the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol which is a popular choice among African Americans who smoke. However, when Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law, Big Tobacco paid millions to pause the law from being implemented.

Now it is up to California residents to vote ‘yes’ in November to put SB 793 into effect.

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