Lots of people in the world think that tobacco is done. It’s over. Didn’t we fix that? No one smokes anymore. We should move on to obesity.
My friends in tobacco control know this is a completely false story. Tobacco is still – still – the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the world.
One in five people in the US are using tobacco. The numbers are higher for folks with less education, less income. Poor or minority neighborhoods are plagued by tobacco retailers in ways that other neighborhoods are not: high retailer density, high presence of tobacco advertisements, price discounts, cheap little cigars… I could go on. The retail space is where tobacco enters our communities, and where the industry channels nearly all of their marketing billions – to the tune of $1 million/hour – to hook kids and make it harder to quit.
Tobacco is an issue of social justice. It’s a tale of who, in the US, has the freedom to live a healthy life in a healthy neighborhood, and who doesn’t. Is that okay with you, dear reader?
That’s not okay with me and I am making change.
Dedicated tobacco control practitioners, working together with smart evidence and a coalition of partners – we can fix it. That’s what this blog is about.
Welcome to my new writing space. I hope you’ll join me here again.