SAN FRANSICO, CA — In response to advocacy by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) California Attorney General Rob Bonta sent warning letters to RJ Reynolds and Imperial Tobacco Group Brands (ITG) that their new tobacco products marketed to the Black community violate the state’s law prohibiting sales of flavored tobacco.
This is an important step to protect the health of Black residents of California who have been targeted for decades by the tobacco industry. As a result of decades of predatory targeting of menthol-flavored tobacco products, 45,000 Black Americans die because of tobacco-induced illnesses.
After this past November’s election, where nearly two-thirds of California voters voted to support Proposition 31 and uphold SB 793, the tobacco industry introduced and heavily marketed new tobacco products aimed at Black people with similar tastes and cooling sensations as menthol-flavored tobacco products.
“These letters send a strong message that we will not sit by as tobacco companies work to continue their assault on the health of Black people,” proclaimed AATCLC Co-Chair Dr. Phillip Gardiner. “Now is the time to act to get these illegal products immediately off store shelves.”
Formed in 2008, the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council is our country’s leading public health education and advocacy organization taking on Big Tobacco to save Black lives. The AATCLC works at the intersection of social injustice and public health policy. Working with health jurisdictions, elected officials, community-based organizations, tobacco researchers, activists, and the media, the AATCLC is leading the fight to end the sale of menthol and all flavored tobacco products.
Learn more at www.savingblacklives.org.