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Young Black Female in Casual Group - Speaking
Press Statement February 22, 2024

NAACP Reacts to New Study Finding Black Voters Support Menthol Ban

Young Black Female in Casual Group - Speaking


February 22, 2024

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,

WASHINGTON — For over two decades, the nation's preeminent civil rights organization, the NAACP, has been a leading advocate in the fight to ban menthol cigarettes. More recently, the Association has led the charge to hold the Biden Administration accountable to their promise to ban menthol products. This week, a new poll conducted by The Mellman Group, a leading political research firm, on behalf of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids reported that Black voters support the FDA's final rule prohibiting the sale of menthol cigarettes by a 37-point margin (62% to 25%).

NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson shared the following response:

"This new data proves what we already know to be true – Black voters want to see a menthol ban. Now, it's time for the Biden Administration to put people over profits and swiftly enact a rule that will save countless Black lives. We're done waiting. The NAACP will continue to do everything in its power to hold this Administration accountable to their promises to our community. Enough is enough. Our lives are at stake."

Under consideration for more than a decade, the menthol rule is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence showing that menthol cigarettes are more addictive, easier for kids to start smoking and harder for smokers to quit. For decades, the tobacco industry has marketed these products to Black communities, causing devastating and disproportionate harm to the health of Black Americans. Research shows that prohibiting menthol cigarettes will save up to 654,000 lives within 40 years, including the lives of 255,000 Black Americans.

The FDA's rule is supported by a wide range of organizations, scientists and elected officials. Supporters include members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, other Black civil rights and health organizations, 100 Black Men of America Inc., the U.S. Conference of Mayors and over 300 faith leaders from across the country. A coalition of more than 100 public health, social justice, medical, parent, community and other organizations voiced strong support in comments submitted to the FDA.

The NAACP will continue to lead the call for a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes because we recognize the tobacco industry's long standing quest for profit at the expense of Black lives. The Association remains committed to fighting for the prioritization of Black Americans' health and well-being, holding our elected officials accountable, and ensuring our community remains informed. 



The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.