Although supporters of the ban say it is an important step toward reducing disease inequality in the United States, the move has to some extent divided black communities. Reverend Al Sharpton has criticized it harshly, and recently got a meeting With White House officials along with King & Spalding, a lobbying firm that has a vast Defense Record for RAI Services, the cigarette maker formerly known as RJ Reynolds.
Mr. Sharpton, President of the National Action Network wrote e-mail To Susan Rice, director of the Local Policy Council, saying the ban would lead black smokers to fiddle with cigarettes or use unregulated menthol herbal varieties, which would “enhance criminal activity.” Mr. Sharpton He confessed That Reynolds has supported his organization for two decades but does not say how much it contributes.
Reynolds is one of the world’s largest cigarette companies and maker of Newport menthol cigarettes, that you call “The #1 Selling Menthol Cigarette Brand in America.”
Reynolds Similar effects Concerns In a letter to White House officials, he suggests that the FDA extend the ban’s timeline to ensure that local implementation is not applied “in a way that results in negative impacts, such as disparate impacts on communities of color.”
Mr. Sharpton wrote: “Banning menthol would pose serious risks, including increasing the illegal sale of smuggled menthol cigarettes on the black market as well as sales of individual menthol cigarettes — ‘losers’ and thus placing menthol smokers at significant risk of entry into the criminal justice system. “.
Carol McGruder, co-founder of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, said it was “shameful” that Mr. Sharpton and others had received funding from tobacco. She said the need for police reform is real, but the lives lost so early with menthol tobacco are far greater in number.
Using our pain sarcastically, and saying, ‘Oh, we want to protect you from that by leaving these products on the market that are killing you’ is crazy,” Ms McGruder said.