Black Community Leaders and Public Health Advocates to hold Menthol Funeral at the White House in Jan 2024
PRESS ADVISORY: Black Community Leaders and Public Health Advocates to hold Menthol Funeral at the White House on January 18
Advocates will Demand that the Biden Administration Act Now to
Ban Menthol and Save Black Lives.
WASHINGTON, DC - On Thursday, January 18, Black community leaders and public health advocates will gather in front of the White House to hold a funeral for the 45,000 black people who die each year from tobacco-related illnesses in the United States.
After 12 years of studying the issue, on February 13, 2023 the Food and Drug Administration sent the proposed rule to ban menthol cigarettes to the White House. The FDA has found that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace. On December 6, 2023, the Biden Administration delayed issuing the final rule on banning menthol.
According to researchers at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University, a ban on menthol cigarettes will save up to 654,000 American lives over the next 40 years, including the lives of 255,000 Black Americans.
January 18, 2024
Schedule and Locations:
10:30 AM: Funeral procession - Black Lives Matter Plaza
11:00 AM: Funeral service - Lafayette Square Park
11:30 AM: Rally with national leaders - Lafayette Square Park
“The White House’s decision to delay the Food and Drug Administration’s rule banning menthol cigarettes puts politics and profit over the health of Black Americans. Make no mistake: By heeding the cynical arguments of the tobacco industry and its well-organized lobbying efforts, President Joe Biden’s administration is sending an unacceptable message that Black lives do not matter when it comes to fighting tobacco use, the leading cause of preventable death in our country,” proclaims NAACP CEO and President Derrick Johnson. “The administration must keep its promise to protect the health of Black Americans and issue a final rule.”
“The Black Community in America will not stand by and let menthol kill any more of our brothers and sisters. If Black lives matter, then menthol has got to go,” explained African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council Co-Chair Dr. Phillip Gardiner.
Each year, more than 72,000 African Americans are diagnosed with a tobacco-related illness and more than 45,000 die from a tobacco-induced disease. 85% of all African Americans who smoke use menthol cigarettes, compared to 29% of Whites who smoke. Menthol makes cigarettes more addictive and harder to quit. More than 70% of African Americans who smoke want to quit, and more than 60% made a quit attempt in the previous year. However, African American who smoke are less likely than their White counterparts to successfully quit smoking.
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