The attack on flavored tobacco products

Massachusetts is used to being the first. It was the first state to abolish slavery in 1783 and the first to legalize same sex marriage in 2003. It led the nation in the individual mandate for health insurance long before the Affordable Care Act was established.

On June 1st it became the first state to ban the retail sale of menthol-flavored tobacco products. This is a significant initiative.

An earlier national law —The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 — gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration full authority to regulate the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products. It also banned all flavored cigarettes, including fruit and candy flavors, but stopped short of including menthol flavored tobacco in that ban.

Yet, the marketing and promotion of menthol cigarettes have been targeted heavily toward African Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African American


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