This Sunday many churched will make the decision to observe No Menthol Sunday as a congregation. This began as a way to highlight the marketing tactics of tobacco companies to specific populations, and grew into an outrage about the sale of flavored tobacco products to our youth.
There are so many facts and figures that show the significant increase in tobacco use as a result of flavors, like menthol, being created to market to our children and, in turn, also being used by the adult population. However, the most significant statistic shows that 97% of youth that use e-cigarette's also use flavors, and most of them would not have started using tobacco products if flavors were not available. Because menthol exists, a new generation of tobacco users has begun and decades worth of targeted marketing to Black communities specifically.
As congregations gather this Sunday, their goal is to focus on the theme of "Awaken!", which encourages them to not be deceived by the ill intentions of others and focuses on Ephesians 5:5-15. When it comes to protecting our young people and our most vulnerable communities, we must not grow weary or turn a blind eye.
No Menthol Sunday is the perfect time to raise our consciousness about these important issues. When people of faith remain vigilant, educate youth, and inspire community action, we will begin to move toward total health justice!
If you would like to read more about menthol facts, statistics, regulations, and marketing, click here.
May is the month to recognize our previous, current, and future mothers! And I wanted to take time to talk about the benefits of quitting smoking as a pregnant woman or current mother. No matter how old you are, or how many kids that you have, strong women deserve to be celebrated! And sometimes mothers forget to take care of themselves. Unfortunately, 1 out of 5 women in Indiana are of child-bearing age, and many of them are both pregnant and current smokers; this contributes to our 11.5% smoking rate among pregnant women in Indiana. I believe that this number would significantly decrease if we helped our mothers make themselves, and their health, a priority!
Here is a list of the risks of smoking during pregnancy:
Here is a list of risks associated with children breathing secondhand smoke:
I don't need to convince you that smoking is bad for you to participate in or for your kids to be affected by, but I am sure that we can all agree that self care is not a high enough priority for our mothers. Let's stay educated and find new ways to support the health and lifestyle changes of the mothers within our community!