Smoking is an Unequal Opportunity Killer

Cigarette smoking has devastating effects on health, and it is an unequal opportunity killer. People with lower-incomes and less education and certain racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to smoke, so they bear a bigger share of the disease burden caused by the tobacco use epidemic. In conversations with several leaders in tobacco control, this video shines a spotlight on this health disparity, how it developed, and how tobacco companies have contributed. 

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The marketing of smoking in the African-American community apparently worked.  Here’re some terrible stats:

  • Percent of non-Hispanic black or African-American men 18 years and over who currently smoke cigarettes: 22.7% (2011-2013)
  • Percent of non-Hispanic black or African-American women 18 years and over who currently smoke cigarettes: 15.2% (2011-2013)

Source: Health, United States, 2014, Table 54[PDF – 9.8 MB]

Smoking during pregnancy causes additional health problems, including premature birth (being born too early), certain birth defects, and infant death.   Jay Harold has a post “Black Women have Higher Rate of Low Birth Weight Babies,” that talks about the effects of smoking on babies.

Jay Harold is always working to improve your Health and Wealth. Play the free  “Slow Roll Through Civil Rights” Game found on the Jay Harold website. Enjoyed this post? Share it and read more here.

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