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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health advocates are pressing the Food and Drug Administration to ban menthol-flavored tobacco products, years after other flavors were banned.

The big picture: Congress gave menthol a pass when it banned flavored cigarettes in 2009, but advocates are highlighting the products' disproportionate use among Black smokers, at a time when policymakers are especially attuned to racial inequities in health.

  • A new report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids highlights tobacco companies' aggressive marketing of menthol cigarettes, which can be more harmful than non-menthol products, in Black communities.
  • Massachusetts and California have already banned menthol cigarettes; Connecticut and Maryland are considering similar laws.

What's next: The FDA has said it will make a decision by late April, in response to a lawsuit filed by public health advocates.

Go deeper

Feb 24, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Minnesota teens aren't quitting vaping

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Minnesota teens continue to vape at concerning rates, despite a federal law raising the tobacco sales age to 21.

By the numbers: One in five high schoolers used an e-cigarette in 2020, according to the latest Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey.

Wildfires ravage communities in Northern California as thousands evacuate

Firefighters monitoring the scene as flames from the Dixie Fire jump across highway 89 near Greenville, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the town of Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County Wednesday night. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

The U.S. women's team celebrates during a game against the Netherlands on July 30, 2021 in Yokohama, Japan. Photo: Logan Beerman/ISI Photos/Getty Images

⚽: U.S. women's soccer team beats Australia, wins bronze

🥇: Ryan Crouser breaks his own Olympic shot put record to win gold for U.S.

🛶: U.S. teenager Nevin Harrison wins first Olympic women's canoe 200m

🏐: U.S. Olympic beach volleyball duo one step away from realizing gold medal dream

📷: In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 13 highlights

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage