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May 12, 2021

5/4/2021 11:32:00 AM
In the age of COVID, it's more important than ever to address tobacco disparities

Dear Editor;
April is National Health Disparities month, which raises awareness about health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minority populations. Now it is more important than ever to address health disparities and tobacco use disparities are a good place to start.
People of color are more likely to live in neighborhoods with a greater number of tobacco retailers. When you pair this with targeted marketing from tobacco companies, it is not surprising that certain populations smoke at rates higher than the state average.
The known health effects of lung cancer and heart disease from smoking are already reason enough to address these health disparities, but COVID makes this even more of a priority. Populations facing health disparities are already at a greater risk for COVID, but these risks become greater by smoking.
According to the Population of Health Institute, people with smoking-related chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are at greater risk for getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Additionally people who smoke have a harder time recovering from COVID.
The Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention is an alliance that is addressing tobacco-related disparities. This includes partnerships with community organizations that serve these at-risk populations. We welcome all community members and organizations to join us in working on these important issues. You can visit us on facebook at Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention or email
If you or a loved one-use tobacco there is FREE HELP available by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669).
Debbie Fischer
Youth2Youth 4 Change/
Southwest Alliance for
Tobacco Prevention Director
Beloit, WI

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