The California Assembly recently voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
The Senate is expected to approve the latest version of the legislation, and Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he supports the ban.
More than 85 percent of California’s young people who use e-cigarettes use flavored products. The same percentage who use cigars use flavored cigars.
In the past month, 97 percent of youth e-cigarette users reported using a flavored product, and 70 percent said flavors were why.
“As we continue to push to protect Black lives, we must put an end to one of the most pernicious destroyers of Black health and lives: deadly menthol cigarettes and the tobacco industry’s decades-long targeted marketing to our kids and communities,” U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman, wrote in The Sacramento Bee. “Big Tobacco’s greedy and ruthless strategy has worked all too well. … The results have been devastating. The data doesn’t lie. Black Americans die from heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, and other tobacco-related diseases at rates far higher than others. Roughly 45,000 Black men and women are dying at the hands of Big Tobacco every single year.”
Seven out of 10 Black youth smokers and 85 percent of all Black smokers use menthol cigarettes.