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RHA Advocate to City Council: Keep Tobacco and Menthol Restrictions
Dear Esteemed City Council Members:

I am writing to ask you NOT to vote for repealing provisions in the law that restrict the sale of flavored tobacco including menthol near schools. As a result of your leadership, the City of Chicago is a national leader in tobacco control policies that help to save lives by reducing smoking among youth and young adults. However, we must remain firm on keep public health policies that are effective.

Why is it important to keep menthol restrictions in place for those stores near schools? Published research shows that the tobacco industry targets Black youth by increasing the amount of advertisements for menthol cigarettes in stores within walking distance of schools with high percentages of black students. Advertisement rates are 50% higher in these areas. The prices for mentholated New Port cigarettes are also 12 cents lower in these same stores. Young smokers are influenced by targeted advertisements and by price. High levels of advertisements influence the perceptions, attitudes and eventual behaviors of youth. Although the legal smoking age has been increased to 21 years, the predatory practices of the tobacco industry require that current restrictions remain in place to protect the health of our youngest residents.

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 00:00 CST

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