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The National Black Church Initiative Questions the Moral Sincerity of Some Atlanta Black Clergy About the Nicotine Ban

Rev. Anthony Evans, President, NBCI

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, August 21, 2022 / -- Washington D.C.- The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a coalition of 150,000 African American and Latino churches that constitute 27.7 million churchgoers, questions the moral sincerity of the concerned Black clergy of Atlanta concerning the ban on nicotine.

Rev. Anthony Evans, President of the National Black Church Initiative stated, “These 12 misinformed ministers should not be listened to concerning medical and scientific information. They are biblical scholars, not scientists. Therefore, we reject everything they have to say regarding nicotine and the Black community.”

We can only conclude that a sinister motive exists behind these 12 ministers and that appears to be money. What a sad day for the African American community and beyond when mistruths espoused by the tobacco industry instead of evidence-based science, research, and ethics become the basis for decision-making concerning our overall health and wellness.

NBCI finds it questionable that a small group of Black Clergy in Atlanta would support a ban on nicotine given unfounded analyses made by those who do not want to ban nicotine. It makes absolutely no sense because nicotine kills over 400,000 Americans every year and the vast majority of them are African Americans. There is something very suspicious about the fact that these 12 ministers are willing to stake their reputation on an issue that is so clearly decided by science. In fact, Black smokers have higher levels of nicotine dependence because of their use of menthol cigarettes and while Black smokers are more likely to try to quit smoking, they are less likely to successfully quit. Nicotine is killing the black community and to stand in front of cameras to tell people that nicotine equals racism is nonsense.

There are 12 ministers out of 150,000 NBCI congregants who are willing to go against the findings of related to the proven logic of science, research, and ethics. Quite simply, nicotine is not that complicated, it is a chemical that kills. We know that none of these ministers ill-informed, but how is it that they have, all of a sudden, decided against the rational norms of scientific reasoning. What is their motivation? Could we conclude that the tobacco industry is behind these ill-logical, irrational position assumed by these 12 misinformed ministers? Could we conclude that there is some entity paying them to espouse such unfounded positions?

The mistruths about nicotine have permeated the African American community in impactful and unfortunate ways. The predatory marketing has worked so well that we have seen the percentage of Black smokers increase from 10% in the 1950s to 85% today. What becomes even more baffling about this viewpoint is that all seminary trained.

The caliber of such training generates a higher level of understanding of not only the scholarship of their discipline, but also critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills. Yet, without evidence, these same 12 ministers have linked racism as a rationale for the rejection of nicotine and why it is not being embraced.

About the NBCI
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 150,000 African American and Latino Churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. The NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members and the public.

We offer faith-based, out-of-the-box, cutting-edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. Our solutions are backed by statistical analysis, science-based strategies and techniques, and methods that work.

The NBCI’s purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose mission is to reduce racial disparities in the areas cited above. Visit our website

Anthony Evans
National Black Church Initiative (NBCI)
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