It's Not A Coincidence
The teen smoking rate is at a record low of 6%...
which means more teens than ever before have caught on to tobacco’s not-so-secret: it kills people.
More Americans than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, murders, suicides, drugs, and fires combined, to be exact.
So despite fewer teens smoking than ever before, tobacco is still a massive health issue. And it affects some communities a lllotttt more than others.
FACT: Tobacco is not an equal-opportunity killer.
In fact, Big Tobacco has been targeting the African American community for decades. Back in the ‘80’s, a major tobacco company paid people to go into inner-city neighborhoods and hand out free samples of menthol (and some regular) cigarettes in an effort to acquire African Americans as customers.
Today, in cities like DC, there are still up to 10 times more tobacco ads in black neighborhoods than in other neighborhoods. Another study done in DC (just three years ago) even found that little cigars and cigarillos were cheaper in neighborhoods with a higher density of black residents.
Caught yourself thinking, “wait, what the?” yet?
Profiling is always straight-up wrong. But especially when it comes to the sale of deadly, addictive products. And the fact that African Americans as a whole are more affected by tobacco-related illnesses is hard to ignore.
FACT: According to the CDC, African Americans are less likely to successfully quit smoking than white Americans, and more likely to die from smoking-related diseases than white Americans.
So, yeah. We’d say the decades-long practice of targeted advertising is a problem.
Speak up about profiling. Enlist to join the movement, spread the word about Big Tobacco’s unfair tactics and help us end smoking once and for all.