"We don't smoke that s***. We just sell it. We let the poor, the black, and the stupid smoke it for us."
This was a quote by a tobacco company executive when a reporter asked why he didn't smoke the products that they sell.
Have you ever been in a community that was comprised of lower income families and paid attention to the amount of tobacco retailers in the area? You might be surprise to know that tobacco companies target low-income neighborhoods intentionally. It is common to see more density of tobacco retailers in these areas, in addition to a higher distribution of discount codes, direct-mail coupons, development of brands that appeal to these individuals specifically, and point-of-sale discounts, which are "deals" that you see where the products are purchases. It is for these reasons that 74% of all smokers come from low-income communities.
The tobacco industry also markets to minority populations by creating ads that specifically target those individuals, and we see this in the consistency of purchases throughout these populations. African Americans are 11 times more likely to start smoking than white Americans, Native American smoking rates are 7% higher than white Americans, and lung cancer rates are 18% higher among Asian Americans compared to white Americans.
Tobacco companies view individuals of low socio-economic status and of minority populations as the perfect target market for their product. Why? They see any human struggle as an opportunity to capitalize on addiction; and because these individuals commonly struggle financially, Big Tobacco markets directly to them for their own financial gain.
So what can we do?
1. Write to and/or call your state legislatures about the importance of raising the cigarette tax (Indiana's tax rate is significantly below the national average).
2. Get involved with your local tobacco prevention coalition by contacting your Tobacco Prevention Coordinator.
3. If you are a tobacco user, call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit the Indiana Tobacco Quitline to end your support of these establishments and experience freedom from addiction.
There are a lot of theories related to smoking and your mental health, and it has created a stigma for those who want to quit smoking, but are worried about how it will affect, and maybe even worsen, their depression, anxiety, and/or other mental health disorders. Below, we have debunked some myths about quitting smoking for anyone who is experiencing a mental illness.
For FREE resources on how to construct a quit plan, gain access to medical assisted treatment, or any type of clinical support, visit quitnowindiana.com or call 1-800-QUITNOW.
We all know that the fan favorite of activities to do on the fourth of July is to light fireworks, but what are we supposed to do with our families during the day? Here are 5 simple and fun things for you and your family to all enjoy together on the fourth:
1. Go for a walk or bike ride: summer only comes once a year for us in Indiana, so take advantage of the nice weather while we have it; and don't forget to drink lots of water!
2. Bake a fun, patriotic desert with your friends or family: from firecracker cake and flag fruit pizza, to stars & stripes trial mix and red, white, & blueberry bites, the opportunities are endless!
3. Put on your swim suit and play in some water: the hot summer weather calls for some swimming in the pool and running through the sprinkler!
4. Grab your grill and throw on some grub: nothing tastes as good as a burger or hot dog straight off the grill, but there are also some great veggie grilling options if meat is not your thing!
5. Make some popsicles with your kiddos: not only are popsicles a refreshing treat in the heat, but they are so simple and fun to make!
From our families to yours, have a safe and fun holiday weekend!
- The Jay County Drug Prevention Coalition
Multiple Authors including coalition staff, board members, and coalition members contribute to this page.