May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and at The Center for Black Health & Equity (The Center), May is also No Menthol Sunday month. The fight against menthol has been long and is one that has had numerous forces stripping away the health and wealth of the Black community It is a fight that includes internal community stakeholders and external forces joining together to counteract Big Tobacco’s relentless tactics that keep Black Americans addicted to their deadly product. This is a struggle against all of the daily stressors Black Americans face that drive us to these products and keep us there without access to culturally appropriate tools to find a way out.

The Center began No Menthol Sunday nine years ago to involve the faith community in efforts to combat tobacco’s grip on the Black community. We believe that after so many years of tobacco addiction ravaging the health and stability of Black communities, the damage control should begin within the places that have always been our refuge–our churches, and other places of worship. No Menthol Sunday is where we do the internal work of peeling back the layers of tobacco addiction in our communities.

On the third Sunday of every May, this year’s being May 21st, we support faith leaders in educating congregants about smoking, vaping and the role menthol and other tobacco flavors have in harming our communities. Hundreds of churches across the country are participating in #NMS2023 and numerous community events have already happened. At its heart, No Menthol Sunday is a day of support as we open our safe spaces to help people who struggle with nicotine addiction find resources and information about beginning a new journey to quit. Community is where the strength in this fight really lies.

In addition to dealing with individual struggles with addiction, No Menthol Sunday is also a time to support policy change at the national and local levels. No Menthol Sunday encourages involvement in advocacy efforts to ban the sale of mentholated products locally and to support the ban of menthol at the federally. Policy change is an ongoing process that takes time, but the Black community has always made our greatest strides to betterment within our own by remaining vigilant, educating our youth and inspiring community action. On May 21st, we will continue our fight toward health justice by focusing on victory against the tobacco industry and going against the grain of nicotine addiction. To learn more about No Menthol Sunday, visit For free help to quit using tobacco call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.