The White House is considering a nationwide ban on menthol cigarette sales due to a unique special health concern. Black smokers use menthol cigarettes far more than any other demographic, and they are also at an inordinately high risk of lung cancer. However, intense lobbying from Big Tobacco and rounds of arguments on both sides of the issue have delayed any official decision from the Biden Administration.
Why are Menthol Cigarettes So Problematic?
Groups like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Congressional Black Caucus have argued that Big Tobacco has intentionally and aggressively targeted Black communities, neighborhoods, and counties with menthol cigarette ads and campaigns. The marketing tactics work, too, as evidenced by the fact that about 85% of Black smokers use or prefer menthol cigarettes over different makes and brands. At the same time, according to the CDC, menthol cigarettes are more likely to trigger a nicotine addiction and are more difficult to quit than other cigarettes; furthermore, Big Tobacco has a history of advertising menthol cigarettes as “healthier” than others when there is no scientific or medical explanation for this claim.
It is estimated that about 1/3 of all cancer deaths in the country are caused by smoking in some way. The FDA believes a menthol cigarette ban could save 650,000 lives and reduce smoking habits by 15% countrywide within the next 40 years.
With this information in mind, the White House is considering banning menthol cigarettes to prevent people from inadvertently picking up a cigarette product that is more dangerous than advertised. The marketing that aggressively targets Black communities is a controversy, too.
What Would a Menthol Cigarette Ban Do?
If the White House issues a menthol cigarette ban, it will target manufacturers, not individuals. Effectively, it would prevent tobacco companies from making and selling menthol cigarettes, menthol-based e-cigarettes, and vaping devices.
Opponents of the ban argue that people would get arrested for owning and smoking menthol cigarettes. However, this argument has been called “baseless” because no provision or law in the works would hold consumers accountable for possessing menthol cigarettes. Again, the ban would only affect Big Tobacco manufacturers.
Currently, it appears that the White House hasn’t reached a decision due to arguments that banning menthol cigarettes could cause significant economic disruptions. Financial proposals have estimated billions of annual commerce lost if menthol cigarettes are banned.
Holding Big Tobacco Accountable for Menthol Cigarettes
Even though the White House might be taking action against Big Tobacco for targeting Black communities with deceptive marketing tactics surrounding menthol cigarette products, the government is not the only party with options. Consumers may be able to use legal action to hold Big Tobacco accountable in civil court through claims, lawsuits, and class action lawsuits. If it can be proven that false advertising methods were used to sell menthol cigarettes in a way that intentionally endangered a specific demographic, Big Tobacco could be liable for decades’ worth of harm and countless lost lives.
At Schlesinger Law Offices, our tobacco attorneys are researching the constantly developing situation involving Big Tobacco, menthol cigarettes, and questionable marketing tactics that intentionally target Black communities. If any party can hold Big Tobacco liable for harming so many people over many years, we are confident that it’s our legal team. After all, we have a history of successful cases against Big Tobacco, many of which have resulted in record-setting verdicts.
A few of our most prominent victories against Big Tobacco include:
- $157 million verdict: Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. won a $157 million verdict for the husband of a man who passed away due to smoking-related respiratory disease and lung cancer. R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris, the two largest tobacco companies in the U.S., were the defendants in this case.
- $37 million verdicts: Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. secured a total of $37 million for a wrongful death client whose spouse passed away from fatal lung cancer caused by cigarette addiction. Again, the defendants were R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris. A $12 million compensatory damage award was secured, a $15 million verdict for punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds, and a $10 million verdict for punitive damages against Philip Morris.
Have you suffered from lung cancer or respiratory disease caused by tobacco products? Did you lose a loved one to cigarette addiction? Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A. wants to hear from you today. Our tobacco attorneys are ready to support you with our award-winning legal counsel. We prepare every case as if it will go to trial.
Discover your legal options and how to file a claim against Big Tobacco. Call (954) 467-8800 or contact our tobacco lawsuit attorneys online now.