WASHINGTON, D.C. (KERO) — The Food and Drug Administration has pushed forward an initiative to prohibit menthol as a characterizing flavor in cigarettes -- and prohibit all characterizing flavors in cigars.
Their hope is to significantly reduce disease and death from tobacco use and increase the number of smokers who quit, particularly when it comes to youth and underserved communities.
President and CEO of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce Nick Hill says for that reason he was excited about the FDA proposal.
“It’s about time. And the reason why I say that is because they’ve always targeted the African American community first you know. When all the experiments come around you know normally it's in the disadvantaged underserved areas.”
Hill says tobacco companies have preyed on Black consumers and neighborhoods, mentioning how you see more smoke shops in predominantly Black and brown neighborhoods than in predominantly white neighborhoods.
For those who want to speak out the FDA plans to have listening sessions.