A US study released Friday finds that menthol cigarettes are marketed to African-American youth in a “predatory” manner through ads and lower prices near many California high schools.
Researchers randomly chose convenience stores and other small shops within walking distance of 91 schools. They used data from 2006 and studied how cigarettes were marketed in those stores.
For every 10-percentage-point increase in the proportion of black students at a school, the proportion of menthol cigarette ads grew 5.9 percentage points, they found.
The price for a pack of Newports, the leading brand of menthol smokes, fell 12 cents for every 10-percentage-point increase in the proportion of black students at a nearby school, too. Discounts for Marlboro, a non-menthol brand, were unrelated to demographics or proximity to a school.