Understanding Potential Menthol Tobacco Bans and their Impact on Communities of Color

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On April 29, 2021, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it would issue proposals within the next year to ban menthol cigarettes and all characterizing flavors in cigars. This event outlined the latest science on nicotine initiation, addiction, and cessation, the use of flavorings in tobacco products, as well as the disparate impact of menthol tobacco products on various populations, especially communities of color. Expert panelists also discussed key milestones of tobacco and nicotine-related policies at the state and federal level and outline the opportunities and challenges of implementing the FDA’s forthcoming menthol bans.


  • Joelle Lester, J.D., Director of Commercial Tobacco Control Programs, Public Health Law Center, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Carol McGruder, Founding Member and Co-Chair, African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council
  • Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
  • Kate Sullivan Hare, MHSA, Vice President of Policy and Communications, Alliance for Health Policy (moderator)