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.