The truth is that there are twice as many Caucasian menthol cigarette smokers as there are African-American menthol cigarette smokers.African-Americans are about 13% of the US population. Whites are about 74%. There are roughly six times more whites than blacks in the US, but only two times more white menthol smokers. Disparity? Duh. Targeting the youth?
Heavily-advertised Marlboro, Camel and Newport cigarettes dominated the teen smoking market between 1989 and 1996, according to a new study, which found that the percentage of teen Newport smokers doubled during those years. Newport made its most significant inroads with the white and Hispanic teen market, say Karen Gerlach, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and colleagues. Their study appears in the American Journal of Health Behavior. Newport cigarettes contain menthol, which may make them less harsh-tasting and easier for experimenting teens to smoke, Gerlach and colleagues say. They also suggest that expanded advertising campaigns may have helped increase the brand's popularity.Nobody has to target underage smokers. Target 18-year-old smokers! Their kid brothers will totally pick it up. [CAOH; letter via Multicult Classics]