Black Americans have been intentionally targeted by the tobacco industry for decades. As a result, nearly 9 out of 10 of African Americans that smoke, smoke menthols.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) includes requirements to ensure that all people have the right to public health. Tobacco violates numerous human rights, but most notably, the right to health.

The U.S. Federal Government shares the responsibility with state and local governments for protecting Americans’ human rights. Tobacco companies targeting the Black community with menthol cigarettes infringes on their right to be free from racial discrimination, as well as harming their health.

Below are resources for public health advocates to use to link tobacco, menthol, and human rights, in order to convince local, state, and even the federal government that they must protect us from tobacco companies and their deadly menthol flavorings.

General Resources

  • CERD Talking Points

    CERD Talking points– Short discussion topics and facts to help advocates clearly illustrate connections between tobacco control and human rights, and encourage the utilization of international tools for local progress.

  • CERD Fact Sheet

    CERD Fact Sheet– Data and statistics to support the talking points.

  • Tobacco and CERD Resource Guide

    Tobacco and CERD Resource Guide– a list of suggested readings and resources on menthol, tobacco, human rights and the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

  • Sample social media- menthol, CERD, and human rights

    Sample social media posts– suggestions for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to draw attention to your advocacy campaign.

  • Sample letter to the editor- Menthol and CERD

    Sample letter to the editor- version 1 and version 2. Use these letters as a starting point to draft letters to the editor for your local paper.

Washington, DC | Advocate Resources

  • CERD Talking Points DC

    CERD Talking Points DC- Short discussion topics and facts, including information specific to Washington D.C.,  to help advocates clearly illustrate connections between tobacco control and human rights, and encourage the utilization of international tools for local progress.

  • CERD Fact Sheet DC

    CERD Fact Sheet DC– Data and statistics, including information specific to Washington D.C., to support the talking points.

California | Advocate Resources

  • CERD Talking Points CA

    CERD Talking Points CA– Short discussion topics and facts, including information specific to California, to help advocates clearly illustrate connections between tobacco control and human rights, and encourage the utilization of international tools for local progress.

  • CERD Fact Sheet CA

    CERD Fact Sheet CA– Data and statistics, including information specific to California, to support the talking points.