The Ridiculously Racist History of Menthol Cigarettes

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When the Biden Food and Drug Administration announced its plan to ban menthols, it cited the fact that “out of all Black smokers, nearly 85 percent smoke menthol cigarettes, compared to 30 percent of White smokers who smoke menthols.” Other kinds of flavored cigarettes—which apparently once included cinnamon, toffee, vanilla and bourbon, among so many other disgusting tobacco flavor profiles—were banned back in 2009, but not menthols, which continued to be sold. In 2011 and 2013, an FDA advisory committee reported that menthols aren’t any more toxic than other cigarettes, but suggested the minty flavoring mitigates “the harshness of smoke and the irritation from nicotine,” an effect that “may increase the likelihood of nicotine addiction” and make it harder than other cigarettes to quit. “Removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace,” researchers concluded in a resulting paper, “would benefit the public health.”

The FDA has promised, cross-their-heart-and-hope-to die style, that the proposed ban on menthols won’t end up criminalizing Black folks for personal possession, to which the ACLU issued a highly relevant reminder-counterpoint. “Policies that amount to prohibition have serious racial justice implications,” the organization wrote, noting that “criminal penalties…will disproportionately impact” Black people, who police have killed for infractions that specifically include the selling of loose cigarettes. But the ban has been applauded by groups including The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and the NAACP, which issued a statement calling out cigarette manufacturers for “targeting African Americans…on a narrow quest for profit, and they have been killing us along the way.”

One thing that there’s no disagreement about is that the history of menthol cigarette marketing to Black folks is rich with racist stereotypes and the worst of intentions. Consider the case of Marie Evans, whose son was awarded $152 million in total damages in 2010 in his wrongful death lawsuit against Lorillard Tobacco Company, the manufacturer of Newports. In her 2002 video deposition, taken just weeks before she died of lung cancer, Marie recounted how Lorillard trucks in the late 1950s would roll into the Roxbury housing project where she grew up and hand out sample cigarette packs to Black adults—and young kids, too. As early as age 9, Marie was given Newports she would then trade for candy. At age 13, she started smoking, a habit she spent much of the rest of her life trying and failing to quit. Testifying at trial, Marie’s younger sister also recalled getting Newports from the same Lorillard van, which she said “looked like a Frosty truck.”

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He Legally Changed His Name to a Bond Villain. Then He Plotted Dad’s Death, Cops Say.

Colorado Springs Police

Last summer, former Colorado Springs attorney Jean-Joseph Danger Le Chiffre found out he hadn’t been included in his father’s will and was apparently furious.

So, police allege, he schemed a plan with his mom, Marcella Sandoval, that he thought would be foolproof.

Le Chiffre would kill his father, Gilbert Sandoval, and his 78-year-old mother would then claim she did it in self defense.

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Philly DA Candidate Forced to Address Paralegal Found Dead in His Mansion

YouTube/A. Charles Peruto

On first look, the campaign website for Charles Peruto Jr., a bombastic Republican attorney running to oust progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, seems fairly standard, similar to those of many conservative candidates.

There is the section on “issues” like the opioid crisis and Black Lives Matter. There is one listing endorsements from various cops and judges. And a page titled “Enough Is Enough!” in which he says he’s running for one simple reason: public safety.

But then, there is a section, titled “The Girl in my Bathtub,” in which he has to explain the death of a woman at his mansion in 2013.

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This Is the Best Game I’ve Played Since Cards Against Humanity

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Scouting Report: Puns of Anarchy takes everything you love about Cards Against Humanity and puts it into the players’ hands. The cards are whiteboards that players use to create their own answers.

I remember the very first time I played Cards Against Humanity. I was at a college party hosted by a friend of a friend, and even though I didn’t know a single person around that coffee table, I sat down and joined in; within minutes, we were all roaring with laughter like lifelong buddies. Round two was just as good, so I was thrilled to see the game at basically every party I went to that year. By round 67, it’d kind of lost its magic, and for almost a decade now, I’ve been actively searching for a great, new adult party game that’s not Cards Against Humanity. Well, I’ve finally found it.

It’s called Puns of Anarchy, and it’s downright brilliant. (In fact, when it launched on Kickstarter in 2020, it raised almost $150,000.) A friend brought it to a small, socially distanced barbecue at my house this summer, but because I was cooking, I couldn’t join in. That didn’t stop me from burning the food, though; I was so immersed in watching the gameplay, I forgot all about dinner. I bought my own copy that night.

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This Body Wash Smells Like I’m Hiking Through a Forest

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Scouted/Huckberry

Scouting Report: Body wash might seem like a little thing, but this one makes my showers and myself smell like I’m walking through a redwood forest, which boosts my mood and I’m sure, helps everyone around me, too.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life, isn’t it? For the past year, I’ve cared little about my appearance and overall grooming, but now it’s time to care again — which is not a burden, but instead, exciting. I’m rethinking every aspect of my life and my routine, addressing some of the bad habits I may have fallen into during quarantine. One upgrade I recently made was my body wash and I’m so glad I did.

Juniper Ridge makes my favorite incense, and so it makes sense then that they’d also make a scent I’d like to clean myself with, too. The Coastal Pine Body Wash comes in a cool looking 8oz bottle, but I think what’s the most cool is that it’s all-natural and made with wild harvested ingredients, like coconut, sunflower, steam distilled essential oils, rosemary, and more. The scent overall feels like instead of standing in a shower, you’re walking through a conifer forest, surrounded by old growth redwoods among dramatic mountains. If you could extract the scent of a pinecone and transform it into a body wash, that’s what this would smell like. To me, it makes showers extremely rejuvenating—I feel like being barraged with scents you actually enjoy instead of typical soapy aromas is transportive and meditative in a way that’s nearly indescribable.

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