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Albany Times Union
March 3, 2023

Editorial: No to Menthol Ban

Smoking kills. It poisons you from the inside out. It hurts those around you — your children, your partner. Decades of aggressive marketing and disinformation helped fuel an addiction that is all too easy to start, and all too hard to shake.

It's strange to be defending the sale of anything as hazardous as a cigarette. But a proposed state ban on menthol tobacco won't solve the problems advocates seek to solve — and could compound a host of other problems.

Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to ban menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco and raise the cigarette tax by $1 per pack. Flavors make cigarettes more attractive to youth, and menthol in particular soothes harshness, making it easier to start smoking. And after decades of targeted marketing in the Black community, African Americans are much more likely to smoke menthols than Americans of other races or ethnicities, according to the Centers for Disease Control. About 85 percent of African American smokers use menthols, compared with 30 percent of white smokers.

To read the full editorial: Editorial: No to the menthol ban (