The minty past and cloudy future of menthol cigarettes

Despite being addictive and deadly, menthol cigarettes were long advertised as a healthy alternative to "regular" cigarettes — and heavily advertised to Black folks in cities.

In the U.S., flavored cigarettes have been banned since 2009, with one glaring exception: menthols. That exception was supposed to go away in 2023, but the Biden administration quietly delayed the ban on menthols. Why? Well, an estimated 85 percent of Black smokers smoke menthols — and some (potentially suspect) polls have indicated that a ban on menthols would chill Biden’s support among Black people. Of course, it’s more complicated than that. The story of menthol cigarettes is tied up in policing, advertising, influencer-culture, and the weaponization of race and gender studies. Oh, and a real-life Black superhero named Mandrake the Magician.


This information was gathered from NPR News
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Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is a public radio network for the state of Minnesota. With its three services, News & Information, YourClassical MPR and The Current, MPR operates a 46-station regional radio network in the upper Midwest. Last updated from Wikipedia 2024-06-20T20:31:32Z.
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Recently updated charts from the most popular data releases according to the Federal Reserve Economic Database (FRED).