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Politics Should Not Supersede Public Health

On April 26, the Biden administration made the outrageous decision to postpone plans to remove mentholated tobacco from the market. Despite endless scientific research and bipartisan community support to discontinue the sale of such deadly products, the administration has chosen to prioritize politics over Black lives.

The Center for Black Health & Equity (The Center) has been a part of the charge to see this ruling come to fruition for decades. Even in 2009, when the FDA committed to removing all flavors from cigars except for menthol, The Center and other organizations continued to advocate for health equity and policies that would acknowledge the harm these products cause in Black and other communities of color.

The Biden administration claims they need ‘significantly more time’ to weigh in on the matter, but in the meantime, more Black lives will be lost to tobacco-related illnesses. A presidential election should not be more important than preventing disease and illness in marginalized neighborhoods.

The Center will not wait for change; we will continue to support equity-centered policies that tackle the heinous marketing of menthol in Black communities at the local level because the federal government is unreliable in this fight. We will promote grassroots efforts nationwide vested in the health of Black America. 

We invite others who want to be a part of progress to participate in No Menthol Sunday on May 19. This annual observance day serves as an opportunity for our communities to educate about the dangers of flavored tobacco, empower people to quit using tobacco and provide facts about how the tobacco industry uses disinformation to exploit Black people and further sales.

Public health cannot come second to political games anymore.





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