Over 80% of kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.

Tobacco companies have been hooking our kids for years with enticing flavors like gummy bear, mango and “smooth menthol.” African Americans have paid the highest price for Big Tobacco’s immoral targeting of racial minorities and low-income New Yorkers. To combat the challenge, New York’s City Council wants to protect our kids by limiting the sale of menthol cigarettes and prohibiting the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes.


For decades, Big Tobacco’s number one weapon to addict young people to nicotine has been menthol cigarettes–especially in communities of color. Yet the NYC Council has failed once again to restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes, despite a health epidemic that claims thousands of lives every year in our city.

Menthol cigarettes are easier to start smoking and harder to quit. They also mask the harsh taste of tobacco, making them more appealing to kids. That’s why more than half of all youth smokers ages 12-17 use menthol cigarettes, compared to less than 1/3 of smokers ages 35 and older. Menthol use is even higher among African American youth: 70% smoke menthol cigarettes.

But we can change that forever in NYC. Let’s send a strong message and restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes in NYC.


African Americans pay the highest price for Big Tobacco’s immoral targeting of racial minorities and low-income New Yorkers. Each year, approximately 45,000 African Americans die from a smoking-caused illness.

Juul comes in sweet flavors that appeal to youth, including mango, fruit, creme, mint and cucumber. And 97% of youth e-cigarette users have used a flavored e-cigarette in the past month.

Among youth, prevalence of menthol use is highest among African-Americans: seven out of 10 African-American youth smokers smoke menthol cigarettes.

Researchers have identified more than 15,500 unique e-cigarette flavors available online. With their colorful packaging and sweet flavors, flavored tobacco products are often hard to distinguish from the candy displays in stores.


Former Mayor David Dinkins
Rep. Gregory Meeks
African American Clergy and Elected Officials (AACEO)