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The Toll of Tobacco in African American Communities

Tobacco use has a disproportionate negative impact on African American communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans have the highest rates of smoking related illnesses and death compared to any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. This is due in part to the tobacco industry’s targeted advertising and marketing efforts in African American communities, as well as socioeconomic factors such as poverty and lack of access to healthcare. The higher rates of tobacco use and related health issues in African American communities contribute to health disparities and a lower overall quality of life for individuals and families in these communities. Efforts to reduce tobacco use and related health disparities in African American communities must be prioritized to improve public health and promote equity.

There are numerous health benefits that can be experienced by quitting smoking, some of the reasons to quit smoking are:

  • Reduced risk of lung cancer: Smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer for African American men and women. African American men and women have a higher incidence of lung cancer compared to other ethnic groups.
  • Improved cardiovascular health: Smoking increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Better respiratory health: Smoking damages the lungs and can lead to respiratory problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.
  • Improved overall health: Smoking is linked to a wide range of health problems, including cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, and more. By quitting smoking, African American people can improve our overall health and reduce our risk of developing these and other health issues.
  • Reduced healthcare costs: Smoking related health problems can be costly, both in terms of medical expenses and lost productivity. By quitting smoking, we can reduce our healthcare costs and improve our financial wellbeing.

Read more about how tobacco affects African American communities at:

If you know anyone who suffers with tobacco addiction and needs help quitting, or if you need help with quitting smoking don’t hesitate to seek help at:


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