The Removal of Uptown Cigarettes: A Philadelphia Victory

In 1990, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company chose Philadelphia as a test market for a new brand of menthol cigarettes called Uptown. RJ Reynolds aggressively advertised Uptown in neighborhood newspapers and African-American magazines as well as on billboards and inside buses, glamorizing urban nightlife and smoking cigarettes.3

In response to this campaign, a group of dedicated Philadelphia community leaders, known as the Coalition Against Uptown Cigarettes, fought back to remove Uptown from the market.

While Uptown was removed from the market in Philadelphia, there remain other menthol brands on the market that continue to target marginalized neighborhoods and communities of color.

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