Black Public Health Community Leaders Head to London for the British American Tobacco Annual  General Meeting

The group will demand that BAT stops killing Black people around the globe

WASHINGTON, DC – On April 19, British American Tobacco (BAT) will host their AnnualGeneral Meeting at the Hilton London Bankside. Black public health leaders from across the United States will be there to demand that BAT stops their predatory marketing of products that kill tens of thousands of Black people each year.

British American Tobacco wholly owns Reynolds American International (RAI), the maker of Newport cigarettes. RAI and other tobacco companies have perniciously and racially targeted the Black community since the 1950s. As a result of this targeting, tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable deaths for Black people in America accompanied by much higher rates of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and death. Each year, more than 72,000 Black Americans are diagnosed with a tobacco-related illness and more than 45,000 die from a tobacco-induced disease. 

85% of all Black Americans who smoke use menthol cigarettes compared to 29% of White smokers. Menthol cigarettes increase addiction and make it harder to quit. More than 70% of African American smokers want to quit, and more than 60% made a quit attempt in theprevious year. However, Black American smokers are much less likely than White smokers to successfully quit smoking.

It is important to note that international tobacco companies work tirelessly to market and sell their products to people of all races and ages – including kids – across the globe, with full knowledge of the harm, death, and destruction they bring. BAT also works tirelessly toundermine public health and tobacco prevention in Africa.

Though the U.K., Canada, Ethiopia, Japan and the European Union have banned the sale of menthol flavored tobacco products, BAT and other tobacco companies persist in doing everything in their power to block public health policies that will protect Black people in theUS.

Delegation Members will be available for press interviews and media appearances todiscuss the harm British American Tobacco and Big Tobacco have caused to Black people around the world and what our leaders and the community can do to fight back and save Black lives.

Please contact Josh Brown at +1 (202) 503-9671 (Google Voice) or josh@brownstrategy.comfor availability and scheduling.

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