Cigarette Ads Target Black Youth in the US

Cigarette companies are specifically targeting black youths in the US through advertising and reduced prices, reveals a new study. Stanford University researchers have found that makers of menthol cigarettes, which are popular among blacks, are trying to get youngsters addicted to their product. US officials are considering banning menthol cigarettes.

In the study, the researchers analyzed the marketing tactics of cigarette companies in the vicinity of schools. They found that black-dominant areas were specifically targeted by offers of lower prices and more ads.

Newport menthol cigarettes made by Lorillard was found to be specifically using this tactic. Health officials say lower cigarette prices will boost their popularity and usage.

The researchers reveal that menthol patronage has increased from 43.4% in the year 2004 to 48.3% in 2008. Among American teen smokers, 71.9% of blacks favor menthol cigarettes, compared to 47% of Hispanics and 41% of whites.

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