How many times in life have you heard the words, “Smoking Kills”, but not really given that much thought to it? I’ve been told that for the majority of my life, but have I really ever processed it? No, not really. I don’t smoke, never have, and have no intention of doing so in the future, but there are so many people around the country who do not have the same mindset. In the United States, low-income, marginalized neighborhoods are targeted by tobacco companies and retailers, profiting off these communities and killing hundreds of thousands of people in the process. My goal is to bring to light how these companies profile communities and how marginalized communities are disproportionally affected by tobacco companies with the help of truth®.
Want to know how to help the future of our country make the best choices possible? Inform them by exposing the tactics of the tobacco industry, the truth about addiction, and the health effects and social consequences of smoking. truth gives teens facts to make their own informed choices about tobacco use and inspires them to use their social influence and creativity in the fight against tobacco, which is why I can stand by them on this journey. The national average of teens who smoke is at an all-time low of 6 percent as of 2016. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. Smoking rates in certain communities are higher than anywhere else in the country as a result of Big Tobacco profiling low-income, marginalized communities, especially black and LGBTQ+ populations, with ads and tobacco products.
Tobacco use is so much more than a health issue, it’s a social justice one as well. When communities are being singled out because of factors that they cannot control, we are all at risk. People in these communities are even further put down and targeted because of these characteristics, but what can we do to stop or combat this? Read, share, and start a conversation. Look at the statistics and history of targeting based on sexual orientation or racial characteristics, hold these tobacco companies accountable for their products, and join with me in helping truth by going into our communities and getting involved with the #STOPPROFILING campaign and with actions across the country at thetruth.com.
The new #STOPPROFILING campaign from truth is here to expose the tactics of the tobacco industry and give teens facts to make their own informed choices about tobacco use and inspire them to use their social influence and creativity in the fight against tobacco. It isn’t fair that in predominately black neighborhoods, there are up to ten times as many tobacco ads than in other neighborhoods or that in low income areas, tobacco retailers are more likely to be found near schools. It’s time that tobacco companies stop targeting people because of the socioeconomic status, race, or sexual orientation.
We are all human beings and we all deserve to not be targeted. We need to teach people and share with them the true effects of smoking. It’s up to us to make a change, so let’s all work together with truth® and get this done!
I wrote this post completely on my own, with the aid of truth and Her Campus. My views on teen smoking and profiling are completely my own and have not been influenced in any way.