How popular are menthol cigarettes? Popular enough to reverse logic. The government is set to pass a bill that will ban "flavored" cigarettes, but menthols will be excluded. Because menthol, of course, is not a flavor. What menthol is is close to $20 billion in sales for the tobacco industry. As well as an important part of African-American culture! Tobacco companies advertise menthol brands disproportionately to minority communities, and it obviously works, although nobody really knows why. What we do know is that this bill is perfect—it protects my precious Kools, while saving America from the strawberry menace:
"My recollection is that we were able to eliminate the use of flavored cigarettes, strawberry, mocha, and all this stuff that is clearly targeted at young kids and to start them smoking tobacco," Mike DeWine, the former Ohio senator [said].
It's about time we got rid of those mocha cigarettes that all the kids are smoking these days. Of course, we'll still have this problem:
Scientists who study smoking have identified various disparities in the health of black and white smokers. National Cancer Institute data shows that African-American men get lung cancer at a rate 50 percent higher than white men — a gap that most scientists say cannot be fully explained by historically higher rates of smoking by black men.
One theory suggests that menthol in cigarettes, by providing an additional pleasurable sensory cue, reinforces addiction.
But let's be fair, those crying racial discrimination in advertising: how do you explain THIS?