EP04: Blowing Smoke: Why Menthol is Dangerous

This week’s episode features Carol McGruder & Dr. Phillip Gardiner from the African American
Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC). AATCLC was formed in California in 2008, they
collectively educate the public about the effects of tobacco on Black Americans, the predatory
marketing tactics, and the need for regulation regarding flavored tobacco products.

Carol McGruder is a veteran of California’s tobacco control advocacy and currently serves as a
co-chair for the AATCLC. Dr. Phillip Gardiner is a Public Health activist who works to maintain community activism and is
now currently co-chair for the AATCLC.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Menthol has a cooling sensation that masks the harsh taste of smoking
  • The more melanin you have, the longer nicotine stays in your body, making it harder to
    quit
  • The tobacco industry was told to stay out of the suburbs and to go into the urban
    communities
  • Predatory marketing is done by tobacco companies, creating more cigarette ads in black
    communities
  • Menthol is cheaper to purchase in the black communities
  • AATCLC is working locally, statewide and nationwide to have menthol banned
  • Black consumers utilize menthol more than any other race, even though it is killing us
    rapidly
  • Cigarette smokers can have a worse outcome to COVID-19
  • There are many local sensation services and counseling available to assist with your quit
    journey
  • Different quit programs offer social support so that you do not have to quit alone
  • AATCLC and Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has begun an administrative lawsuit
    against the FDA because of their inaction on menthol
  • As a community, we must continue the fight against menthol
    We also discussed the importance of the Census 2020, the deadline change, and the multiple
    sources that help make completing the Census easier and more convenient. Lastly, how the
    NBA players are now using their large platforms to promote the Black Lives Matter movement.
    The players are using their platforms to spread positivity and love during this time