In a 2002 research paper, “The African Americanization of menthol cigarette use in the United States," Gardiner wrote that the cigarette industry has successfully promoted among African Americans the belief that menthol cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes. The companies also donated money to civil-rights organizations, which encouraged the groups to support their brands. The leading menthol brands are Newport, Marlboro Menthol and Benson and Hedges.
"Menthol cigarettes are a growth area for the cigarette industry," Gardiner said. "People aren't smoking a pack a day like they used to, but the proportion of menthol-cigarette smoking is increasing."
World No Tobacco Day, which is organized by the World Health Organization, highlights the risks associated with tobacco use and advocates for effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
The day is observed each year on May 31. - New America Media
The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council can be found on the web at SavingBlackLives.org.