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.
Indiana's smoking during pregnancy rate has declined significantly from 18.5% in 2007 to 11.5% in 2018. However, there were over 9,300 babes born in Indiana to mothers who smoked during pregnancy in 2018 alone, so it is clearly still an important discussion to have in our state!
Smoking impacts even the youngest Hoosiers, and smoking during pregnancy harms the health of both the mother and the baby. And we don't say this to instill guilt, but to see this as an opportunity to share solutions and resources with expecting mothers. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in Indiana, but it is also a huge contributor to birth defects when someone chooses to smoke during pregnancy. Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of:
▪ low birth weight
▪ premature birth
▪ ectopic pregnancy
▪ problems with the placenta
▪ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Even exposure to secondhand smoke is harmful to both mothers and their babes. babes whose mothers are exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant are also more likely to have lower birth weight, and exposure to secondhand smoke in infancy increases the risk of SIDS.
With all of that being said, it is never too late to quit smoking. Whether you are planning to get pregnant, currently pregnant, or a new mother, you can always make the choice to quit entirely to increase the health of both yourself and your baby. And making the choice to stay smoke free will reduce your own risk of diseases such as heart and lung disease, stroke, and cancer. If you want to create a Quitplan today, go to www.quitnowindiana.com or call 1-800-QUITNOW.
How did it begin? The Great American Smoke-out event has helped dramatically change Americans’ attitudes about smoking. These changes have led to community programs and smoke-free laws that are now saving lives across the country. Annual Great American Smoke-out events began in the 1970s, when smoking and secondhand smoke were common.
Multiple Authors including coalition staff, board members, and coalition members contribute to this page.