When I was growing up in New York in the 1970s, both of my parents were physicians and both of my parents smoked. I remember the ads as a child for “Joe Cool” and menthol cigarettes in popular magazines such as Ebony and Essence and on billboards everywhere in our community. [...] It’s been more than a decade since federal law eliminated flavored cigarettes in the United States, with one notable exception: menthol. The flavor that hooked my mom from the start.
Like my parents, I became a physician too and I chose pediatrics. Now I live and work in Florida and have seen the impact of nicotine addiction on my own young patients.