2 Burst results for "Ben Stockton"

"ben stockton" Discussed on The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

08:20 min | 7 months ago

"ben stockton" Discussed on The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

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Save up to 25% off your first year by going to life lock dot com slash LA times. That's life lock dot com slash LA times for 25% off. Hey, what's up? It's gustave varano. In celebration of Juneteenth, this week we're running some of our favorite episodes about the black experience. Today we revisit the showdown centering on proposals to ban menthol cigarettes and how the tobacco companies enlist black community leaders to ensure that any ban never happens. Cool. Salem. Newport. I don't smoke, but even I know that their cigarette brands and specifically menthol cigarette flavor. With flashy ads that make it seem that only the coolest of the cool people smoke them. They've been controversial for decades and the Food and Drug Administration is weighing a national ban on them. But tobacco companies are not a fan of losing out on millions of dollars with that possible move. So they've enlisted leaders in a community that has long been the biggest consumer of menthols. Black people. I'm the starving. You're listening to the times, daily news from the LA times. It's Thursday, June 23rd, 2022. Today, how big tobacco has exploited black trauma to fight potential bans on menthol cigarettes. Miley times colleague, Emily baumgartner teamed up with Ben Stockton of the bureau investigative journalism to report on this. They focused on cigarette giant Reynolds American, and their efforts to keep menthols in the hands of black smokers. Emily Ben, welcome to times. Thanks for having us. Yeah, thanks for having us. Ben, last fall, you found yourself at a Marriott in Atlanta, fine dining with hundreds of black leaders. What was the occasion? Yeah, so I just moved from London to Atlanta a few months before and I heard about this conference that was going on, which was being held by the national black caucus of state legislatures, which is a group of black state level lawmakers and their staff. What ended up being the most memorable speech for me was while we ate lunch on the third day, one given by a retired deputy police chief Wayne Harris. Because I wanted to talk, I want us to keep in mind not only the murder of this man who speaks to Minneapolis. It will be unreasonable afterwards. And he pulled up on the two big screens behind him, a photo of George Floyd who I'm sure everyone remembers was tragically murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020. And it wasn't just any photo, it was worn with COVID actually kneeling on Floyd's neck. And as he had his knee on his neck he kept in, I can't breathe. I can't breathe. A very emotive image and that incident sparked anti racism protests across the world. And we're going to fight for justice for George. You might kind of expect their retired police officer would be there to talk men about police reform. It could be how the decisions that you make as legislative as citizens. Impact how we end up dealing with people on the streets. Actually, he wasn't. He was there to talk about menthol cigarettes. If you get a band tobacco product, Bannon, not just something that is going to impact the black and brown community where I'll do the dismal. 85 and 90% of them prefer a problem. And this is of course kind of cities and counties across the U.S. and even some states, including California, have been debating whether to ban manifold cigarettes. Partly because evidence suggests that menthols are harder to quit and because the minty flavor masks the harshness of the tobacco. So they said to kind of make it easier for young people to start smoking. But there are also the flavor of choice for the vast majority of black smokers. And what Harris was arguing and it's something we've heard time and time again while following these debates is that by banning menthol cigarettes, you're essentially giving a police officer an easy excuse to stop a black man on the street. And by showing a picture of Floyd, I think what a lot of the black lawmakers in the audience inferred was that if you ban these cigarettes, people in their community could end up like him. Invoking George Floyd's name to argue against a menthol ban and just exploitative and ghoulish. But as you wrote, it got even worse. Yeah, so there are obviously genuine concerns about policing in America and who better to talk about the potential impact of banning menthol cigarettes than a former deputy chief of police, but what Harris didn't actually mention was that he also serves as the chair of the board of an organization called the law enforcement action partnership. That organization receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from Reynolds American and Reynolds America and as we know, is a tobacco company which owns Newport and that's by far the most popular brand of menthol cigarettes in the country. And then what we in the audience have been told shortly after the lunch had begun was that Reynolds American were actually footing the bill and you know I like to find out that they'd paid $40,000 to sponsor that lunch and I think that demonstrates quite how serious this is for Reynolds. They sell billions of dollars worth of Newport cigarettes every year and these bands are a huge threat to their business. So they want to make sure people like Harris are talking to black lawmakers about why these bands could be bad. And you know what we are the bureau of investigative journalism of doing with the LA times is following how Reynolds American is using black lobbyists and consultants to push back against these bands. What we found is that it's not always clear, like in Harris case that these people have ties to the company. Emily, how did this start? How did Reynolds American and these other tobacco companies start targeting black leaders specifically? So Reynolds American is well aware that the influence that black leaders have over their communities is huge. And these communities generate such a massive share of the company's revenue as Ben mentioned, the menthol take over in the black community occurred over time. So in the 1950s, about 2% of white smokers chose menthol cigarettes compared to 5% of black smokers, but after all the decades of targeted marketing that we looked into, that gap is much, much larger. Menthol is that cigarette of choice for 30% of white smokers, but 85% of black smokers. I think to understand the market for menthol cigarettes, you have to first understand that they are the perfect gateway cigarette, they're smooth, they taste fresh, they have a lot of those cooling sensation, qualities that a menthol cough drop would have. If you sucked on it when your throat hurts. So almost all African Americans who smokes started with menthol cigarettes. So it was obvious to Reynolds American looking at basic data that if they wanted to access a support.

LA times George Floyd gustave varano Miley times Emily baumgartner Ben Stockton Emily Ben national black caucus of state Wayne Harris Derek Chauvin Newport LifeLock Reynolds American Atlanta America Harris Reynolds Floyd
"ben stockton" Discussed on The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

07:37 min | 10 months ago

"ben stockton" Discussed on The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

"Cool. Salem. Newport. I don't smoke, but even I know that their cigarette brands and specifically menthol cigarette flavor. With flashy ads that make it seem that only the coolest of the cool people smoke them. They've been controversial for decades and the Food and Drug Administration is weighing a national ban on them. But tobacco companies are not a fan of losing out on millions of dollars with that possible move. So they've enlisted leaders in a community that has long been the biggest consumer of menthols. Black people. I'm Gustav Ariana. You're listening to the times. Daily news from the LA times. It's Tuesday, April 26th, 2022. Today, how big tobacco has exploited black trauma to fight potential bans on menthol cigarettes. Miley times colleague, Emily baumgartner teamed up with Ben Stockton of the bureau investigative journalism to report on this. They focused on cigarette giant Reynolds American, and their efforts to keep menthols in the hands of black smokers. Emily Ben, welcome to times. Thanks for having us. Yeah, thanks for having us. Ben, last fall, you found yourself at a Marriott in Atlanta, fine dining with hundreds of black leaders. What was the occasion? Yeah, so I just moved from London to Atlanta a few months before and I heard about this conference that was going on, which was being held by the national black caucus of state legislatures, which is a group of black state level lawmakers and their staff. What ended up being the most memorable speech for me was while we ate lunch on the third day. One given by a retired deputy police chief Wayne Harris. Because I wanted to set the call. I want us to keep in mind, not only the murder of this man, the streets of Minneapolis, will be arrested for afterwards. And he pulled up on the two big screens behind him, a photo of George Floyd, who I'm sure everyone remembers was tragically murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020. And it wasn't just any photo, it was one with COVID actually kneeling on Floyd's neck. And as he had his knee on his neck he kept in, I can't breathe. I can't breathe. A very emotive image and that incident sparked anti racism protests across the world. We are going to fight for our streets and we're going to fight for justice for George. You might kind of expect their retired police officer would be there to talk then about police reform. How the decisions that he made as legislative charge as citizens impact how we end up dealing with people on the streets. Actually, he wasn't, he was there to talk about menthol cigarettes. If you get a band tobacco product, bad end. Not just something that is going to impact the bland ground community where a building is not 85, 90% of them prefer myself. And this is because kind of cities and counties across the U.S. and even some states, including California, have been debating whether to ban menthol cigarettes. Partly because evidence suggests that menthols are harder to quit and because the minty flavor matches the harshness of the tobacco. So they said to kind of make it easier for young people to start smoking. But there are also the flavor of choice for the vast majority of black smokers. And what Harris was arguing and it's something we've heard time and time again while following these debates is that by banning menthol cigarettes, you're essentially giving a police officer an easy excuse to stop a black man on the street. And by showing picture of Floyd, I think what a lot of the black lawmakers in the audience inferred was that if you ban these cigarettes, people in their community could end up like him. Invoking George Floyd's name to argue against a menthol ban and just exploitative and ghoulish. But as you wrote, it got even worse. Yeah, so there are obviously genuine concerns about policing in America and who better to talk about the potential impact of banning menthol cigarettes than a former deputy chief of police, but what Harris didn't actually mention was that he also serves as the chair of the board of an organization called the law enforcement action partnership. That organization receives hundreds of thousands of dollars from Reynolds American and Reynolds America and as we know, is a tobacco company which owns Newport and that's by far the most popular brand of menthol cigarettes in the country. And then what we in the audience have been told shortly after the lunch had begun was that Reynolds American were actually footing the bill and I later found out that they'd paid $40,000 to sponsor that lunch and I think that demonstrates quite how serious this is for Reynolds. They sell billions of dollars worth of Newport cigarettes every year and these bands are a huge threat to their business. So they want to make sure people like Harris are talking to black lawmakers about why these bands could be bad. And you know what we are the bureau of investigative journalism of doing with the LA times is following how Reynolds American is using black lobbyists and consultants to push back against these bands. What we found is that it's not always clear, like in Harris case that these people have ties to the company. Emily, how did this start? How did Reynolds American and these other tobacco companies start targeting black leaders specifically? So Reynolds American is well aware that the influence that black leaders have over their communities is huge. And these communities generate such a massive share of the company's revenue as Ben mentioned, the menthol take over in the black community occurred over time. So in the 1950s, about 2% of white smokers chose menthol cigarettes compared to 5% of black smokers, but after all the decades of targeted marketing that we looked into, that gap is much, much larger. Menthol is that cigarette of choice for 30% of white smokers, but 85% of black smokers. I think to understand the market for menthol cigarettes, you have to first understand that they are the perfect gateway cigarette, they're smooth, they taste fresh, they have a lot of those cooling sensation, qualities that a menthol cough drop would have. If you sucked on it when your throat hurts. So almost all African Americans who smoke started with menthol cigarettes. So it was obvious to Reynolds American looking at basic data that if they wanted to access a support base in the black community, they should start with black leaders. One person who's been tracking the history of mental cigarettes and its influence in black communities is a Princeton history professor Keith whalley. And he recently wrote a book called pushing cool and I interviewed him for this investigation. Concerns about the prevalence of urban billboards cultivating youth markets in black America began to emerge in the 1980s. And people started to comment on the dramatic disproportion between black urban billboards selling not just tobacco but liquor and suburban billboards. And Kohl's for regulation or calls for revisiting or calls for cities to kind of, in the name of the health of.

George Floyd Gustav Ariana Miley times Emily baumgartner Ben Stockton Emily Ben national black caucus of state Wayne Harris Newport Derek Chauvin Reynolds LA times Harris Reynolds American Atlanta Floyd Food and Drug Administration Salem Reynolds American and Reynolds