skip to main content

Friday, June 9, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Former President Donald J. Trump first ever to face federal charges in 7 count indictment; the Supreme Court strikes down Alabama's Congressional Maps; Canadian wildfires affect the health of humans and wildlife.

play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court upholds a key provision of the Voting Rights Act over Alabama redistricting, smoky skies could spell EPA trouble for some states, and President Biden calls on Congress to pass LGBTQ+ protections.

play newscast audioPlay

Rural communities launch projects with funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, a study says rural transgender adults feel less supported than those in urban areas, and a summer road trip could mean majestic scenic byways or a sprinkling of donut shops.

New CA Report Details Tobacco Industry Marketing to Vulnerable Groups

play audio
Play

Wednesday, October 12, 2022   

A new report from Stanford University finds tobacco companies continue to directly target African Americans, women, and young people with their advertising, creating a larger market for a product which has been linked for years to cardiovascular disease and cancer.

It comes as efforts are underway at the state and federal levels to remove menthol cigarettes from the market.

Dr. Robert K. Jackler, professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the report's lead author, said the preference among the targeted groups for menthol cigarettes is the product of a concerted campaign.

"Urban heavily Black-populated areas got carpeted by billboards and signs in store windows, discount coupons," Jackler explained. "The companies would have vans that would give out free samples of cigarettes in poor neighborhoods."

In 2020, the California Legislature prohibited most flavored tobacco products, but the law was put on hold when the industry gathered signatures to force a referendum. In November, voters will consider Proposition 31, which upholds the restrictions. And the industry is funding the "No on 31" campaign, arguing blocking adults from buying menthol products would lead to a drop in sales-tax revenue and create an illegal market, increasing crime.

Jackler predicted voters will pass the ballot initiative, reaffirming the California Legislature's intention to remove most forms of flavored tobacco from the market.

"The tobacco industry is very cynical," Jackler asserted. "They used the initiative petition to buy a couple of more years of profit off of California. They knew they were going to lose this, I think, in the election."

The report finds tobacco companies market menthol to youth because it makes it easier to smoke, masking the taste and numbing the throat. It also noted menthol encourages deeper inhalation and thus, greater exposure to nicotine.

Dr. Jessica Sims, medical director of managed care at UCLA Health and an American Heart Association volunteer expert, thinks removing menthol cigarettes and flavored vaping products from the market will improve public health.

"Nicotine itself has been demonstrated to cause permanent harm to the teenage brain that's still developing," emphasized. "It causes difficulties with attention and memory, and can impact someone's trajectory in life."

In April, the FDA proposed to remove menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars from the market but no final rule has been issued. In 2009, Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which prohibited all flavors other than tobacco and menthol in cigarettes.

Disclosure: The American Heart Association Western States Region contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Guns to Gardens volunteers in New Hampshire are working against what are considered among the weakest gun laws in the country. State law does not require background checks on all gun sales, or limit access to firearms by people in crisis. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Community volunteers in New Hampshire are turning unwanted firearms into garden tools as part of a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence. Under …


Social Issues

play sound

Parents and educators in the Houston Independent School District said they are all for improving schools but do not believe a state takeover by an une…

Social Issues

play sound

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling on a 5-to-4 vote Thursday, deciding Alabama's 2022 congressional maps violated the Voting Rights …


Alaska has more than 322 million acres of public lands, more than three times the acreage of the entire state of California. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Bureau of Land Management has announced a $161 million investment in habitat and wildland restoration projects in 11 western states. Alaska is …

Environment

play sound

As smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets New York and much of the East Coast, it's causing a wide range of health effects - and not just for people…

Connexus Energy operates a 'solar meadow' at its headquarters in Ramsey, Minn. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Energy)

Environment

play sound

By Elizabeth Hewitt for Reasons to be Cheerful.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Net…

Social Issues

play sound

To fight such pressing issues as housing shortages and increasing crime rates in cities across the country, many of the nation's mayors are taking …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As part of Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, mental-health advocates in Iowa are sharing information about Alzheimer's and say two new drugs …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021