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The U.S. Food & Drug Administration denied reports that a ban on menthol cigarettes is targeting Black smokers.

Menthol cigarettes were targeted to Black people in flashy ads in Ebony magazine and other publications. The ads show beautiful Black people relaxing while smoking menthol cigarettes.

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Ebony magazine

The Biden administration says its plan to ban menthol cigarettes will benefit Black people. The administration said the menthol ban is “a big win for Black health.”

However, civil rights Attorney Ben Crump is concerned that banning menthol cigarettes will have “unintended consequences” for Black people.

He noted that police will use the ban to confront Black people.

Crump told, “you can’t visually tell a menthol cigarette from a non-menthol cigarette from 20 feet away.”

“Just because you say there’s a ban doesn’t mean there isn’t going to be a demand for [menthol cigarettes],” Crump said. “Nicotine is an addictive drug. If you ban them all tomorrow, this doesn’t mean people will stop having a desire to get something they’re addicted to, so they’ll go to the black market.”

But the FDA said its ban won’t criminalize Black people who buy menthol cigarettes on the black market.

Question: Will you stop smoking menthol cigarettes after the ban goes into effect?