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Menthol cigarettes in black neighbourhoods: still cheaper after all these years
  1. Lisa Henriksen1,
  2. Nina C Schleicher1,
  3. Stephen P Fortmann2
  1. 1 Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California, USA
  2. 2 Science Programs Department, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, Oregon, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lisa Henriksen, Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, CA 94305, USA; lhenriksen{at}

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California was the second US state to adopt a law to end the sale of most flavoured tobacco products (including menthol) in August 2020.1 However, a tobacco industry front group submitted more than 625 000 validated signatures to challenge the law on a ballot referendum in November 2022. One hundred local laws that restrict sales of flavoured tobacco protected 22.1% of California’s population as of February 2021,2 3 and the state aims to increase this coverage. In addition, stronger support for the state-wide law is anticipated where local laws exist.4 Prior evidence of more advertising and lower prices for menthol cigarettes at stores in neighbourhoods with a greater proportion of black residents in California and in the USA suggests a history of predatory marketing.5–7 This secondary analysis tests whether these patterns persist in California. This research …

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  • Contributors LH drafted the letter, NS conducted the analysis and all authors made critical revisions.

  • Funding This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (#5R01-CA067850) and the California Department of Public Health (contract #17-10041).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.