Big Tobacco has turned to racial targeting to survive a downturn in sales. Reynolds American, the No. 2 U.S. tobacco producer announced a deal to buy No. 3 cigarette maker Lorillard for about $25 billion.
Why does this matter? It matters because of Lorillard’s menthol cigarette brand, Newport, which is marketed towards African American smokers. According to Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Newport was the leading brand of cigarettes among nearly 74 percent of black youths aged 12 to 17 and almost 79 percent of Black young adults aged 18 to 25. Newport sales have shown steady growth from 10.6 percent to 13.2 percent between 2009 and 2012.
For full analysis of this merger visit The Huffington Post.