From 1932-1972, the U. S. Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute studied the effects of untreated syphilis on African-American men in Macon County, Alabama in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks. Scheduled to last for 6-9 months, the study endured for 40 years. The men were all black and primarily socially and financially burdened sharecroppers. The men were never informed or treated for their condition and were essentially regarded as human Petri dishes. Penicillin was available in 1941. The study wasn't ended until the 1970's. Wives and children were subsequently infected. Blacks have been loathe to participate in medical studies since then.
The victims were confounded by the local medical community who were in on the sick twisted joke that was this study. Tuskegee University is a black University and numerous students and staff observed and participated. Even the military allowed these men to avoid the draft which would have led to the men being treated with penicillin.
The men were never given adequate treatment for their disease. Even after penicillin became the Public Health Service’s drug of choice for treating syphilis in 1947, researchers did not offer it to the subjects. Per Tuskegee University’s website:
they were thus deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis—which can include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death. "As I see it," one of the doctors involved explained, "we have no further interest in these patients until they die."
The experiment continued in spite of the Henderson Act (1943), a public health law requiring testing and treatment for venereal disease, and in spite of the World Health Organization's Declaration of Helsinki (1964), which specified that "informed consent" was needed for experiments involving human beings.
So now the government wants to run a new "Study" on the effects of mentholated cigarettes. Why? Because they've been found by other studies to be the MOST addictive. Why? Because the menthol does two things 1. It masks the flavor. 2. Menthol numbs the air passageways allowing the smoke to be held in longer, delivering and possibly hiding more toxins.
So, how is this similar to the Tuskegee? Menthols are chosen by 80% of african american smokers. Pick up any black periodical and you will find the primary advertisers are KOOL or some other mentholated cigarette. Which is probably why there hasn't been much outcry from the community. It's been bought out.
So the legislation Obama signed into law banned all other type of flavoring - cinammon, fruit, candy, cloves, you name it. But not menthols. And who's affected the most by that besides latinos and african-americans as a demographic?
Another groupdisproportionately affected by menthol-cigarette advertising, critics say, is young people...For example, a July 2008 study by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass., found that roughly 44% of smokers age 12 to 17 prefer smoking menthols, compared with 35.6% of smokers age 18 to 24 and 27% of the overall U.S. smoking population. Unsurprisingly, African-American teenagers smoke menthol cigarettes at a far higher rate than teenagers of other races: roughly 80% of black teenage smokers prefer menthol cigarettes, compared with 32% of white teenagers and 45% of Hispanic teens.
So, Harvard proves menthols are a gateway product...but menthols need further study...With the two members of the Advisory council that Philip Morris gets to appoint I wouldn't hold my breath on anything coming from it...at least not without some menthol to help hold it in.
The point is that while clove cigarettes required no further study to be banned, menthols did. Menthols which have high usage rates by the very children this law is supposed to protect. Cloves..not so much. Comparing it to Tuskegee...perhaps a bit hyperbolic, until you consider how many black children might become hooked on their product while they're "studying" it.
Here's Obama preparing to sign the law. At 00:55 he mentions "flavored cigarettes to mask the taste of tobacco" - Watch as he's signing, you may notice 2 of the four children are african american, one appears to be latina .
Corporate whores one and all.