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Menthol Cigarette Advertising Disproportionately Advertises to Minority Communities

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or you have lost a loved one due to smoking menthol cigarettes, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

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    The tobacco industry has historically and continues to disproportionately target minority communities and young people with menthol cigarette advertising. Today, tobacco-related cancer is among the leading causes of death for Black Americans.

    St. Louis Menthol Cigarette Lawyers

    For over 60 years, the tobacco industry has deliberately targeted minority communities, particularly Black Americans and youth, with aggressive marketing campaigns for menthol-flavored cigarettes and other tobacco products.

    Since the 1950s, these communities have been exposed to extensive marketing efforts, including sponsorship of community and music events, free sampling, magazine advertisements, and retail promotions.

    These strategies have been alarmingly effective. 70 years ago, less than 10% of Black smokers used menthol cigarettes. Today, after decades of targeted marketing, that figure has soared to 85%.

    Menthol Cigarette Lawsuits

    The menthol cigarette lawsuit alleges that tobacco companies such as Newport, Kool, and Salem marketed menthol-flavored cigarettes specifically to minority communities and failed to warn about the potential risks of their products, leading to nicotine addiction and other health issues.

    Multiple lawsuits have been filed against tobacco companies, including individual, class action, and government lawsuits, with plaintiffs seeking compensation for injuries and damages caused by menthol cigarette use.

    Tobacco companies have faced criticism for their marketing tactics, which allegedly targeted minority groups, and for the high nicotine content in menthol cigarettes.

    Menthol Cigarette Advertising Targets Minority Communities

    Menthol cigarettes, which make up 39% of the overall cigarette market, have been aggressively marketed to minorities, women, and young people since the mid-20th century. This preference is not coincidental but the result of deliberate marketing strategies by tobacco companies. Menthol cigarettes continue to be heavily advertised, readily available, and sold at lower prices in Black communities.

    Kool, Salem, and Newport brands were prominently advertised in Black neighborhoods through billboards, public transportation ads, and community newspapers such as Ebony and Jet. They also sponsored popular music and cultural events like the Newport Jazz Festival and the Salem Spirit Concert Series. Additionally, companies distributed free samples and discount coupons in predominantly Black areas to increase their product’s visibility and accessibility​.

    The appeal of menthol cigarettes lies in their cooling and soothing effects, which make the smoke feel less harsh and more palatable, particularly for new smokers. This characteristic has led to a high prevalence of menthol cigarette use among youth. Over half of all young people aged 12 to 20 who use combustible tobacco products start with menthol cigarettes. Moreover, menthol cigarettes are the first choice for 90% of Black teenagers who smoke.

    Menthol Cigarette Smoking Today

    Menthol is an additive in cigarettes that reduces the harshness of the smoke, enabling users to inhale more deeply. These effects make it easier for younger individuals to become addicted to smoking. Data indicates that menthol in cigarettes is likely associated with greater addiction. Menthol smokers exhibit higher levels of nicotine dependence and have a lower success rate in quitting smoking.

    Despite the overall decline in smoking rates, the proportion of menthol cigarette users has increased over the past two decades, especially among younger adults and racial and ethnic minority groups. This trend underscores the persistent and targeted efforts of the tobacco industry to promote menthol cigarettes among specific demographics, leveraging the flavor’s perceived health benefits and cooling effect to mask the dangers of smoking.

    In response to these troubling trends, the FDA has initiated significant actions to curtail the use of menthol cigarettes. The agency has proposed a nationwide ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars, highlighting the public health benefits of removing these products from the market. This move is supported by extensive research showing that menthol cigarettes contribute to higher rates of smoking initiation among youth, greater addiction severity, and reduced success in quitting smoking.

    The FDA’s proposed ban aims to reduce the health disparities caused by menthol cigarettes, particularly among Black Americans, who are disproportionately affected by menthol smoking. By eliminating menthol cigarettes, the FDA hopes to prevent thousands of smoking-related deaths and improve public health outcomes across these vulnerable populations.

    Do I have a case?

    If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer as a result of smoking menthol cigarettes, it is essential to understand your rights and the compensation you may be entitled to. The tobacco industry has spent decades deceiving the public about the dangers of menthol cigarettes, and it’s time for them to be held accountable. Our experienced legal team is here to fight for justice on your behalf.

    Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a profoundly life-altering experience for both the patient and their family. The physical and emotional challenges of battling this severe illness are substantial, often exacerbated by financial burdens due to reduced income and skyrocketing medical expenses.

    Join the growing number of individuals standing up against the harmful practices of the tobacco industry. Contact our legal team today for a free case consultation. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you only pay us if we win. Let Gianaris Trial Lawyers recover the compensation and justice you deserve.