On Sunday, May 19, city and faith leaders, health advocates and others will celebrate “No Menthol Sunday,” a national day of observance led by the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and supported locally by the Wisconsin African-American Tobacco Prevention Network (WAATPN), by sharing information about the impact of menthol tobacco use on communities of color.
Congregations of all sizes and faiths are encouraged to help our community move “One Step Ahead,” the theme of this year’s event, and helping others realize that they don’t have to walk their quit journey alone. Menthol, a product used by 8 of 10 African-American adult smokers, is a peppermint flavored anesthetic tobacco companies added to reduce the harshness of cigarettes and other tobacco products, which makes it easier to start and harder to quit.
The addictiveness of menthol is a key contributor to health inequities across the U.S., including here in Wisconsin, where 28% of African-Americans smoke, nearly twice the adult rate in the state. Tobacco, most commonly menthol tobacco, is ‘still’ the number one killer of African-Americans, according to Lorraine Lathen, director of the WAATPN.
People of faith can play a major role in changing this. Please join us in helping to spread the message. For more information on how your congregation can observe “No Menthol Sunday” you can visit https://www.naatpn.org/nmspledge or contact us via social media at https://www.facebook.com/waatpn/.