From Black Voices — A federal advisory board recently met to determine what to do about the sale of menthol cigarettes, which are heavily marketed to blacks who have the highest rates of smoking-related diseases.

The advisory board of the Food and Drug Administration began meeting on Tuesday in Washington to weigh the health risks of “menthol flavorings in cigarettes, which account for almost a third of the nation’s $70 billion cigarette market,” according to an article in The New York Times. Some health advocates have called for an outright ban of the product, whose allure is that it hides the taste of cigarettes.

The issue is important to the African American community because menthol brands have long been favored by 75 percent of black smokers, the article says. And African Americans who smoke menthol cigarettes may be less likely to quit than those who smoke regular cigarettes, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-School (UMDNJ) of Public Health, which was published by The Medical News.

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