Why We Smoke Menthol Cigarettes
Who remembers the skit from the Chapelle show “I Know Black People”? On the skit one of the questions was, “Why do Black people like menthols?” The answer by two of the contestants was “I don’t know“ to which Dave said “Exactly, no one knows.”
I know the answer.
African-American communities smoke menthol cigarettes because they were told to through media manipulation. There was a mass push in the 80s by the clever marketing firms of tobacco companies to make smoking menthols look cool. These companies targeted low income African-American communities, often including jazz musicians, in their advertisements. From 1998 to 2002, Ebony magazine was 10 times more likely to have an ad for menthol cigarettes than People Magazine.
That’s why black people smoke menthol cigarettes.
The same is true today. McDonalds, who is known for making healthy food 🤣, had an advertisement that included rapper Travis Scott this summer. To be fair, I’ve enjoyed my fair share of Happy Meals and will continue to enjoy a quarter pounder with cheese every now and then. However, the fact remains the same, millions of dollars are pumped into advertisement of cheap food that taste good, instead of life-giving food that will make our communities healthier and provide longevity. Whole Foods or Chipotle didn’t sponsor Travis Scott, it was McDonalds.
For example, I went on a quest to make the best-tasting, healthiest nutrition bar on the planet. A bar that would taste great, optimize hormones, have wholesome ingredients, and be affordable to purchase. During my journey, I called a co-packer and their suggestion was to dumb down the ingredients by 40% to make it easier to push through an extruder. Doing this would change my entire product and reduce its benefits. Hearing this was disappointing, but it didn’t deter me. It only fueled my fire.
Like a good friend of mine said, “We can redefine what’s cool” I believe that we can redefine what’s cool through proper information and nutrition and when we start businesses out of love and care instead of only caring about the bottom line.