Critics of Westchester County menthol cigarette ban say smoking is addiction, not a crime

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Thursday, November 10, 2022
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Critics of a proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in New York raised concerns that it could put a target on communities of color. Marcus Solis has the story.

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, New York (WABC) -- Critics of a proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in Westchester County raised concerns that it could put a target on communities of color.

Opponents say the most popular flavored cigarettes are menthol and that banning the sale of them would impact Black communities the most.

They claim about 74% to 95% of Black smokers use menthol cigarettes.

They also claim if passed the legislation could have a "severe racial disparate" impact making a comparison to Stop and Frisk legislation.

Critics say instead of criminalizing smoking that it should be recognized as an addiction and treated as such with health programs.

Supporters of the proposal say the ban will help protect the health of the public.

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