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The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council: Advocating for a menthol cigarette ban in San Francisco, California
  1. Sarah D Mills1,2,
  2. Carol O McGruder3,
  3. Valerie B Yerger3,4
  1. 1Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council, San Francisco, California, USA
  4. 4Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr. Sarah D Mills, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA; sarahmills{at}


The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) is an advocacy group that works to inform the direction of tobacco control policy and priorities in the USA. This article narrates the AATCLC’s work advocating for a comprehensive, flavoured tobacco product sales ban in San Francisco, California. Recommendations for tobacco control advocates and lessons learned from their work are provided. The article concludes by discussing conditions necessary to enact the policy. These include having a dedicated advocacy team, community support, a policy sponsor, and clear and repeated messaging that is responsive to community concerns.

  • public policy
  • tobacco industry
  • advocacy

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  • Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work. All authors drafted the work and revised it critically for important intellectual content. All authors provided final approval of the version published and are accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests SM receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and the Food and Drug Adminstration. VY and COM have no competing interests.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Data availability statement There are no data in this work.

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