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Advocates continue call for menthol ban to protect marginalized communities in New York

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  • Staff Report 

Lauren Ho, a junior at the University of Rochester, has called for a ban on menthol cigarettes in a letter submitted by the Center for a Tobacco-Free Finger Lakes. Ho emphasized that menthol cigarettes disproportionately affect Black communities due to decades of targeted advertising. Menthol’s cooling effect masks tobacco harshness, making it easier to start smoking and harder to quit, leading to higher smoking rates and greater health risks.


Ho highlighted the significant impact of menthol cigarettes on Black health, including increased cardiovascular risks and higher lung cancer rates. She argued that banning menthol cigarettes would reduce smoking rates, decrease health disparities, and promote health equity.

In her letter, Ho urged individuals to consider quitting smoking or vaping, especially on No Menthol Sunday, and provided resources for assistance, including the New York State Smokers’ Quitline. For more information, contact [email protected].