Is the Menthol Cigarette Ban the New Stop and Frisk? Public Forum

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022, Blacks in Law Enforcement of America and former Mayor of Mount Vernon Andre Wallace, will host a community panel, “Is the Menthol Cigarette Ban the New Stop and Frisk?” in Mount Vernon, New York. 

 The forum sponsors believe this county law will affect Black communities more than White communities. Depending on the data used, it is estimated that 74% to 95% of Black Americans smoke menthol cigarettes, and only 22% to 36% of White American smoke menthol cigarettes. 

 Policies like a menthol cigarette ban will increase crime. Increase police interactions. The number of people being pulled over and stopped will increase. The number of innocent Black men in jail will increase. Increase black market sales of menthol products from jurisdictions where it is legal. Let’s also remember that youth smoking is at an all-time low of 3.3 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). At the same time, overall crime rates since the pandemic have increased. 

The forum was moderated by Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., President /CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. 

 The panelist present for the discussion was:

Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues (Ret)

Charles Billups, NY Guardians

Damon K. Jones, Blacks in Law Enforcement

Naz Duncan, Save Mount Vernon