Advocates are calling on lawmakers to adopt policies treating race as a public health crisis. Latricia Vetaw with Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation testified in a hearing earlier this week:

“One huge step we can take to address this crisis is ending sales of menthol tobacco products is a cooling chemical that makes it easier to start smoking, easier to inhale and harder to quit.”

Vetaw says big tobacco has targeted African-Americans with menthol tobacco products for decades. And she says 88-percent of black smokers smoke menthol products.