For Immediate Release
May 11, 2011
Contact Information

Julia Cartwright

(BPRW) AJPH Menthol Press Conference Media Advisory

(BLACK PR WIRE) – WHAT: New research to be released on May 12, 2011 in the American Journal of Public Health contains several studies specific to the negative health effects of menthol cigarettes on African American smokers. This research includes information on public attitudes regarding the elimination of menthol as a flavoring from the U.S. market as well as strong new scientific evidence in favor of the complete removal of menthol tobacco products from the marketplace – an action now being weighed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

WHY: Menthol is the only tobacco flavor that has not been banned by the FDA since the agency acquired regulatory authority over tobacco products in 2009. Meanwhile,researchshows that for decades, the tobacco industry has heavily marketed menthol cigarettes to minorities, and as a result, the menthol smoking rates among these communities are disproportionately high; 80 percent of African Americans who smoke, smoke menthol cigarettes. The complete removal of menthol tobacco products from the marketplace would save hundreds of thousands of lives.

• Dr. Louis Sullivan, Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
• Georges C. Benjamin, MD, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
• Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, Advisor, LGBT Policy & Racial Justice, Center for American Progress
• Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. PH, president and CEO, Legacy®
• Jonathan Klein, MD, MPH, Associate Executive Director, American Academy of Pediatrics and Executive Director, The Julius B. Richmond Center for Excellence
• David Abrams, PhD, Executive Director, The Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Legacy®

WHEN: Thursday, May 12, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. EST

WHERE: National Press Club, The Fourth Estate,
529 14th Street NorthwestWashington D.C., 20045

Legacy is dedicated to building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Located in Washington, D.C., the national public health organization helps American live longer, healthier lives. Legacy develops programs that address the health effects of tobacco use, especially among vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by the toll of tobacco, through grants, technical assistance and training, partnerships, youth activism, and counter-marketing and grassroots marketing campaigns. The foundation’s programs include truth®, a national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as having contributed to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. The American Legacy Foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. Visit