Disparities in Tobacco Use

disparities

Are Arkansans at particular risk from tobacco use?  The data suggests that the answer is yes.  Arkansans suffer a higher degree of death from heart disease than the national totals.  And the incidence of death and disease among African-American and Hispanic individuals in this state is disproportionately higher than in the Caucasian population.

Overall, tobacco use for African-Americans and Hispanics has been on the rise since 2006, with huge jumps seen in the male Hispanic population.  Each year, approximately 45,000 African-Americans die from a smoking-caused illness and suffer disproportionately from smoking-caused chronic and preventable diseases.  Today, an estimated 1.6 million African-Americans under the age of 18 will become regular smokers – and about 500,000 of them will die prematurely from a tobacco-related disease.

Moreover, there is compelling evidence that tobacco companies advertise disproportionately in communities with large African-American populations, with advertising specifically targeted to these communities.