Petition Against Menthol Tobacco Ban

The National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) is calling on the Biden administration to end the ban on menthol tobacco(hnb heatsticks supplier) products, calling it a misguided federal policy that will devastate black farmers and rural communities. The NBFA, which represents 130,000 members in 47 states, launched a nationwide petition on to solicit support.


NBFA founder and President John Boyd said in a statement, "The White House is about to issue another order that will put even more black farmers out of work." The proposed federal ban targets adult use of menthol tobacco(heated tabacmanufacturer) products - the kind favored and grown by black farmers. It will deprive small towns and businesses of critical revenue."


The rules from the Food and Drug Administration are expected to be finalized within weeks. If implemented, the ban could lead to widespread unemployment, loss of income and assets, and could even lead to the extinction of generations of farming households, according to the National Agricultural Association. "This is especially true for black farmers, who are already struggling because of misguided federal policies and a lack of relief or alternatives," the group wrote.


"No worker has been hit harder in recent years than black farmers, whose numbers are dwindling. In 1910, about 14 percent of American farmers were black and owned more than 16 million acres of land. According to the latest Agricultural Census data, only one percent of farmers are black, and they own less than five million acres of total land."


The association previously represented 1 million black farmers nationwide, now that number is more than 130,000 in 47 states.


"We know all too well that time and again the misguided policies of the federal government have put a nail in the coffin for black farmers and rural towns across America. My members are on the brink of disaster. We must find a better solution that does not further harm America's shrinking rural towns or place additional stress on hardworking farmers. This petition allows us to speak out - and we want the concerns of generations of black farmers to be heard in the White House."


In addition to the economic impact, opponents of the menthol tobacco product ban point out that the measure would criminalize the sale, distribution and possession of menthol cigarettes(heated tobacco products). They warned that such a conviction could result in mandatory minimum sentences, revocation of parole, fines, loss of voting rights, and even deportation, among other criminal legal consequences.


A study by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health showed that 40 percent of smoking adults use menthol, and more than 80 percent of black smokers use menthol.