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Monday, January 17 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s an opportunity to honor the legacy and accomplishments of the Civil Rights champion by taking actions to help create the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. To help carry forward his legacy, the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network’s Smoke-Free Housing and COVID Work Group, has been working to end tobacco-related disparities in Wisconsin, especially among residents of color.
This population, among others, has experienced greater levels of racism, discrimination, targeted marketing from the tobacco industry, and stress which compound to negatively impact their social and physical environment and subsequently their health outcomes. The impact of COViD-19 has deepened these inequities.
These injustices are what drives our subcommittee to take action by supporting residents, sharing information on industry tactics, COVID related risks for smokers and how to access free help to quit using tobacco by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. We’ve also been working to share information about the harms of menthol tobacco, which have been targeted towards African American communities for decades. Menthol tobacco is easier to start and harder to quit, which has led advocates, both locally and nationally, to call for an end to menthol sales in the United States.
I never had a tobacco addiction. But, I have many relatives that are current tobacco users. Some of them have quit. My uncle quit, but it was too late and he still died from cancer. I did a family tree and mostly all the males were tobacco users and it’s sad and as far as I know everyone started at a young age using tobacco products. This is part of the reason why I became involved.
Although our movement has grown, we still need your help to share our messages and move towards a healthier and more equitable future for all. To join our work group or to support our movement please visit us at https://www.jumpatthesunllc.com/. To learn more about how Tobacco is Changing visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/tobaccoischanging/take-action.htm.
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