Indianapolis Urban League

No Menthol Sunday “A New Day!”

No Menthol Sunday Banner May 17, 2020 (4)

No Menthol Sunday 2021

A New Day!

Yesterday is in the past, and today brings a fresh start.

Although the number of African American smokers continues to decline, approximately 9 out 10 Black people who use tobacco products choose menthol products. The minty flavor of menthol makes it easier to start smoking and harder to quit. For decades, Big Tobacco has targeted Black and minority communities through point-of-sale marketing, billboards, scholarships, free giveaways, and images claiming that smoking and vaping are cool.

No Menthol Sunday is a national day of observance led by the Center for Black Health & Equity, which provides tobacco control leadership in the African-American community. On the local level, The Indianapolis Urban League and Indiana Black Expo have been combatting tobacco use and disparities for decades. Along with other state and local partners, they have been leading advocacy efforts to educate and bring more awareness to community members about the importance of restricting the sale of menthol-flavored tobacco products to help create smoke-free communities across the state.

On Sunday, May 16, congregations across the city of Indianapolis and the country will participate in No Menthol Sunday activities to raise our consciousness about important issues in Black

Health. This year’s theme, A New Day!  reminds us that we are living in a time of opportunity to build tobacco-free communities that are healthy and just. Every day is a new opportunity to advocate for a healthier future that makes menthol and tobacco-related disease a thing of the past.

The Indianapolis Urban League and Indiana Black Expo encourage you to join in No Menthol Sunday. Share, and post your support for “No Menthol Sunday” on your platforms using #NMS2021. For more information and sharable content, please fill out the following survey 

For questions please email Brittany Madison, Tobacco Program Coordinator at or Janet Kamiri, Director of Health and Wellness at

What’s The Big Deal With Menthol?

  • Menthol is a minty flavor that makes it easier to start smoking and harder to quit.
  • The tobacco industry intentionally tries to get African Americans to buy menthol cigarettes.
  • Menthol cigarettes cost less in Black communities and there are more and larger advertisements for menthols in Black communities
  • The tobacco industry pays Black leaders to say that a ban on menthol would criminalize African Americans, but this is not true. A menthol ban would prohibit the sale of menthol products, not possession.
  • It is estimated that from 2011 to 2020, menthol in cigarettes caused over 460,000 African Americans to start smoking and led to 4,700 excess deaths among African Americans nationwide.
  • 85% of African American smokers use menthol cigarettes. This is over three times the amount of Caucasian smokers.
  • 47% of Hispanic smokers prefer menthol.
  • 54% of youth smokers 12-17 years old use menthol.
  • Menthol smoking among the LQBTQ+ community is significantly higher than in the heterosexual community.