National Black Chamber of Commerce Asks: 'Why Should the Taste Preference of African Americans Be Singled Out for a Ban?'

Oct 07, 2010, 14:59 ET from National Black Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Harry C. Alford, co-founder, president and CEO of The National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), today issued the following statement regarding hearings Oct. 7 and 8 of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  The advisory committee is considering whether to regulate or ban menthol cigarettes.  

The NBCC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities.  It represents 95,000 Black owned businesses and provides an advocacy that reaches all one million Black owned businesses.

"It is no secret that menthol cigarettes provide a distinctive taste that is preferred by many African Americans.  In making a recommendation, it is my fervent hope that the committee not make a decision based on mixed information, decades-old marketing information, inconclusive studies or preconceived notions.

"It would be a severe error to completely ban a product under a paternalistic justification.  In the absence of solid scientific evidence, why should the taste preference of African Americans be singled out for a ban?"

Contact: Kay DeBow, 202-466-6888

SOURCE National Black Chamber of Commerce