One of my most favorite public service organizations is Tobacco Free California. They have been diligently and effectively working for years to rid our state of the atrocity that is smoking. Here is a hard-hitting message about menthol cigarettes and their targeted effect on African American communities.
For too long Big Tobacco has been strategically killing the Black community with menthol cigarettes. It’s time to make things right. We already know they hang more ads in black neighborhoods, and offer more discounts in those local stores. But here’s what you may not know – Big Tobacco is co-opting Black community voices to keep these deadly products on the market by exploiting issues that truly matter to our community, all so they can protect their bottom line.
OUT Against Big Tobacco is a coalition in California that wants to remove the tobacco’s industry noxious influence from our health and politics. Tobacco use is outright bad for everybody, affecting even nonsmokers via the just as dangerous secondhand smoke. But tobacco use is significantly more likely among LGBTQ+ people. Considering that the LGBTQ+ community has endured much, and still faces many hurdles, outing tobacco out of our lives would be a boon.
Here’s an excerpt from their website:
Tobacco Use: What We Know
For decades, Big Tobacco has preyed on the LGBTQ+ community, targeting usthrough their marketing campaigns, getting us hooked on their deadly products.Theresult? LGBTQ+ people are more than TWICE as likely to smoke as our non-LGBTQ+ peers, and nearly 30,000 LGBTQ+ people across the country die every year of tobacco-related causes.
The OUT Against Big Tobacco Coalition is taking a stand! We were victimized. We will not allow them prey on us any longer. They don’t respect our existence, but they will respect our resistance.
What We Do
We’re fighting back; fighting for the institutional changes required to save our next generation from the predatory practices of Big Tobacco. Enough is enough. Big Tobacco has the money, but we have the power of the people.
We stand and fight for policy changes targeted to reduce the tobacco-related health disparities within our community. We are fighting to enact the following policies throughout Los Angeles County and California’s Central Valley region:
Restrict the availability of ALL flavors in ALL tobacco products. No Exceptions.
No longer allow the use of discounts and price reduction promotions for the purchase of ANY tobacco product.
Create a culture of tobacco-free Pride celebrations
Remove the influence of Big Tobacco from California State elections