Palm Coast, FLA. Tobacco Free Florida will use the upcoming Tobacco Free Florida Week to draw attention to the root causes of tobacco’s deadly toll on Flagler County’s Black population. With social justice issues being at the forefront of recent public discussion, the week of action will be themed Uproot the Truth: Tobacco Use in the Black Community.
Beginning Sunday, April 25 and coinciding with the conclusion of National Minority Health Month, the local and statewide campaign will examine the deep, institutional reasons for the inequality in health outcomes associated with the Black community and tobacco use.
During Tobacco Free Florida Week, we will work to Uproot the Truth by exposing some of the underlying reasons for this health disparity. Statewide, data shows that that non-Hispanic Blacks in Florida are less likely than the overall population to have healthcare coverage and more likely to report not seeing a doctor in the past year due to cost.[iv]
African-American communities are also disproportionately targeted by predatory marketing, advertising and sponsorship campaigns from Big Tobacco.[v],[vi] These initiatives often promote products such as menthol cigarettes, which are proven to be even more addictive and more toxic.
“All across Florida, health organizations are coming together for Tobacco Free Florida Week to Uproot the Truth, and at Tobacco Free Flagler we’re proud to be part of this critical campaign to raise awareness of this serious social justice issue, “We urge everyone in the community to learn more about tobacco’s deadly effects on the Black population in our neighborhoods and across our state.”
Aligned with concerns regarding the lack of access to healthcare, Tobacco Free Florida offers a wide array of medically proven cessation services completely free and regardless of insurance. “Quit Your Way” services include Phone Quit, Group Quit, Web Quit, text support and more. Those interested in quitting or helping a loved one quit can call 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (877-822-6669) or visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.
Tobacco Free Flagler encourages people across the state to use Tobacco Free Florida Week, beginning April 25, to learn more and share information on the social justice issues connected to tobacco as a leading preventable cause of death and disease throughout Florida’s Black community. More information regarding the campaign can be found at www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/uproot.
About Tobacco Free Florida
The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 254,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida’s free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs.[vii] To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.
[i] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tobacco Use Among U.S. Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups—African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, 1998. Accessed September 14, 2020.
[ii] Kochanek KD, Murphy SL, Xu JQ, Tejada-Vera B. Deaths: Final Data for 2014 pdf icon[PDF–2.95 MB]. National Vital Statistics Reports, 2016;vol 65: no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed September 14, 2020.
[iii] Heron, M. Deaths: Leading Causes for 2010 pdf icon[PDF–5.08 MB]. National Vital Statistics Reports, 2013;62(6). Accessed September 14, 2020.
[iv] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Prevalence and Trends Data, 2019. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. Accessed March 3, 2021.
[v] National Cancer Institute. The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 19, NIH Pub. No. 07-6242, June 2008. Accessed July 21, 2020.
[vi] Food and Drug Administration. Preliminary Scientific Evaluation of the Possible Public Health Effects of Menthol Versus Nonmenthol Cigarettes [PDF–1.6 MB]external icon. 2013. Accessed September 14, 2020.
[vii]Mann, Nathan M, Nonnemaker, James M., Thompson, Jesse. “Smoking-Attributable Health Care Costs in Florida and Potential Health Care Cost Savings Associated with Reductions in Adult Smoking Prevalence.” 2016.
Media Release Provided by Tobacco Free Florida