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Menthol image cropped
Press Statement April 1, 2024

NAACP, Tobacco Free Kids Condemn White House on Failure to Deliver Menthol Ban

Menthol image cropped


April 1, 2024

Contact: Alicia Mercedes, NAACP,


WASHINGTON – Today, the NAACP and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids issued a statement in response to the Biden Administration missing another deadline to issue a final FDA rule eliminating menthol cigarettes. The Administration delayed issuing the final rule in December and now has missed the new deadline it set to issue the rule by March 2024.

"This policy has been studied for more than 12 years and is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence that a ban will save hundreds of thousands of lives. Make no mistake: Delays cost lives, especially Black lives. Delays allow the tobacco industry to continue its predatory targeting of Black and other communities with menthol cigarettes, resulting in 45,000 Black lives lost to smoking-related diseases every year. If Black lives truly matter, it's time to get rid of menthol cigarettes, the only flavored cigarettes still on the market."

Because of the enormous health benefits, the FDA's rule has strong and broad support across the nation. Supporters include members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, other Black civil rights and health organizations, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and over 300 faith leaders from across the country. On March 21, 123 leading civil rights, public health, faith, medical, youth-serving and other organizations placed a full-page ad in The Washington Post and issued a joint statement urging the Biden Administration to immediately issue the final rule.

For decades, the tobacco industry has relentlessly marketed these products to Black communities, causing devastating and disproportionate harm to the health of Black Americans. The Administration must stand up to the tobacco industry and act now to save lives.

The full statement can be found here



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.