Menthol ban would harm communities of color

As an elected official with two hats – state representative and governing board member of a Tucson school district – one of my responsibilities includes representing minority-majority communities. Racial disparities in the criminal justice system are no accident, but rather are rooted in a history of oppression and discriminatory decision-making that have deliberately targeted people of color. We must work to undo these harmful policies.

But instead of working to right the historic wrongs in our criminal justice system against people of color, I’m deeply worried about further criminalization of communities of color. Any prohibition on menthol cigarettes, as the Federal Drug Administration has proposed, promises continued over-criminalization and mass incarceration of people of color.




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