A proposed ban on menthol cigarettes has split the black community. Some argue in favor of banning the tobacco product most preferred by African Americans as a protection, others call it discrimination. Deron Snyder of The Root argues that banning some cigarettes and not others is paternalistic and not effective.
by Deron Snyder
Deron Snyder is a regular contributor to The Root.
Banning menthol cigarettes, which 80 percent of African-American smokers prefer, won’t make folks quit.
As with virtually every other African-American smoker I know, the only acceptable brands of cigarettes for me came in green-and-white packs. If you didn’t puff Salems — my cancer sticks of choice — you probably consumed Newports or Kools.