If you think that addiction is affecting our community, you need to be part of this conversation. So much of our efforts to prevent drug use have been through school assemblies and drug free posters, and we as a coalition wanted to take a more hands on approach to tackle the temptations that our youth face daily, through manipulation that we have even experienced ourselves in our community.
January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month! And I couldn't let this month pass by without talking about such an important topic, especially because it can be directly connected to tobacco use.
Smoking cannot only cause cancer, but it can also prevent your body from fighting it. The ingredients that are in tobacco products can weaken the body's immune system and make it more difficult to kill cancer cells. The ingredients can also damage or change the cell's DNA, which controls the cell's ability to grow and function normally. When DNA is damaged through tobacco use, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancerous tumor. Smoking can cause cancer in the: blood, bladder, cervix, colon, esophagus, kidney, liver, lungs, stomach, and prostate, among other areas of the body. And studies show that people who smoke may be more likely to die from these diseases than non-smokers.
But if you are a current smoker, don't be discouraged! Quitting as soon possible still lowers your chances of getting cancer, and studies show that within 5 years of quitting, your chances of getting cancer lowers by 50%. And if everyone stopped smoking, one of every three deaths from cancer in the United States would not happen. Isn't that amazing?
To learn more about how smoking affects your health, click here. And if you want to learn about free resources to help you quit smoking, call 1-800-QUITNOW or click here.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day, and is a day that we recognize the accomplishments of the iconic civil right leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Not only is this day a great day to reflect on achievements, but it also should be a day to think about what else can be done for racial injustices. And this topic is especially prevalent in the tobacco industry in regards to the marketing tactics used towards the African American community.
In 2018, 1 in 5 African Americans were current smokers and the smoking prevalence among this population has been consistently higher than other racial populations. Why is this? Because aggressively targeting young, African Americans in low-income populations has resulted in substantial profits for tobacco companies.
Big Tobacco has even made an effort to sponsor cultural events, target direct mail promotions, and place advertising in publications and venues that are popular with Black audiences. Several studies have even shown a greater number of tobacco advertisements and a larger presence of tobacco advertising in African American neighborhoods. In Washington, D.C. there were up to ten times more tobacco ads than Black dominants communities.
For more information on the social injustice that is the targeting of these marginalized communities and individuals, click here. And for tobacco statistics that confirm this injustice, click here.
And, as always, for free resources on how to quit tobacco products, visit www.quitnowindiana.com or call 1-800-QUITNOW.
Multiple Authors including coalition staff, board members, and coalition members contribute to this page.