Blacks say menthol cigarette ads targeted them
In a federal lawsuit, Brown et al v. Philip Morris Inc. et al, the nation's major tobacco companies have been accused of violating the civil rights of African Americans.
The suit filed in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia claims that cigarette makers targeted the advertising of menthol cigarettes towards African-Americans, thus violating their civil rights. African Americans are the major consumers of menthol cigarettes, which are more harmful than regular cigarettes. The lawsuit asks the court to declare menthol cigarettes a defective product and ban them. It also seeks punitive damages and restitution for smokers who have spent money on menthol cigarettes. Bill Adams, an attorney with Black & Adams in Philadelphia filed the suit on behalf of Brown, two black health groups headed by Brown, and several current and former African-American menthol smokers.