February is Black and African American History Month. During this month, we celebrate the many achievements of Black Americans and remember the injustices they faced throughout history. It’s also a time to embrace inclusion and work towards better understanding and addressing the health differences in Wisconsin.
Tobacco isn’t an equal opportunity killer. Tobacco companies have strategically marketed tobacco products to appeal to racial and ethnic communities for decades. The most striking example is menthol cigarettes. These cigarettes, which are easier to smoke and harder to quit, have long been marketed to the black community. About 85 percent of all black smokers use menthol cigarettes, a rate that is nearly three times higher than white smokers.
I feel it is important for my peers to know the harms of tobacco and how it effects populations differently, so they won’t be tricked into the tobacco industries deceptive marketing.
As a member of FACT, a youth-driven advocacy movement spreading the truth about tobacco, I know how important it is for my peers and community to be aware of all the risks and unfair marketing tactics from the tobacco industry. To learn more about the work of FACT groups throughout the state, visit FACTmovement.org.