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.
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)
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.