Tobacco industry looks for political wins in Minnesota
February 13, 2017
The Rev. Al Sharpton and a trio of prominent activists appeared in a Minneapolis church basement in January with a somewhat surprising message: Keep menthol cigarettes legal.
Their visit was sponsored by Reynolds American Inc., the parent company of cigarette brands like Newport that are popular with black smokers and a financial backer of Sharpton’s National Action Network. Several of the activists argued that banning menthol cigarettes would create an underground market for the product and a new reason for police to stop and search young black men.