Today is World No Tobacco Day. An organization called, Tobacco-Free Clinton, Franklin and Essex and Reality Check, continue to educate people on how the industry targets certain communities.
Their new campaign,“It’s Not Just,” is intended to educate people on how the tobacco industry targets African Americans.
“85% of African Americans smoke menthol products, compared to 29% of White smokers,” Dana Isabella, Program Director at Tobacco-Free CFE said.
Tobacco-Free CFE works to foster environments that support policies that reinforce the tobacco-free norm in communities throughout New York State.
“It is the number one killer at this point, still across the globe,” Isabella said.
According to the American Cancer Society, smoking-related illnesses are the number one cause of death in the African American community.
“The tobacco industry has really marketed in that demographic quite heavily, with either lower prices, more advertising, easier access,” Isabella said.
Tobacco-Free CFE put up a mural in the Champlain Centre Mall to reinforce the dangers.
“The leading cause of cancer, heart disease, pulmonary disease, COPD, emphysema, lung cancer,” Isabella said.
Tessa Coleman is an 8th grader at Stafford Middle School. She hopes to be a voice for the younger generation, another demographic the tobacco industry targets.
“Tobacco is a big problem in the world, and I would definitely like that to stop,” Coleman said.
According to the CDC, people can start abusing tobacco products at adolescence. Nearly 9 out of 10 adults who smoke cigarettes daily first try smoking by age 18, and 99% first try smoking by age 26.
“It is important and it does involve you because smoking starts at a very young age,” Coleman said.