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Debate: Should the FDA Ban Menthol Cigarettes?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a plan to ban menthol cigarettes and cigars. Menthol is a flavor additive that masks the harshness of tobacco smoke and makes nicotine products more addictive. Tobacco companies have pushed menthol-flavored products aggressively in minority and low-income communities, and Black smokers are much more likely to use them than whites. Some say the ban will save Black lives and address health disparities. Others worry it will force smokers to seek menthol products illegally, resulting in confrontations with law enforcement. Listen to learn more about the agency’s decision and then debate: Should the FDA ban menthol cigarettes?


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Story Length: 3:54

Listen to the Story:

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What was one of Malala Yousafzai’s first experiences with the dangers of religious extremism?
  • After miraculously surviving her attack, what has Malala focused her work on?
  • What is the message that Malala is trying to send to those in power?
  • What does Malala want to do in the future?
  • What are the goals of Malala’s mission to support girls?

Discussion Themes

  • What is your opinion on Malala’s message about the power of education?
  • Why do you think that ISIS might want to silence people like Malala?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234