Tobacco marketers targeting vulnerable populations, researcher says

By Claire Hackett
UWM Report
April 15, 2019

Daniel Giovenco concedes there have been great strides made in reducing tobacco use. The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke every day has hit an all-time low, plunging below 15% for the first time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This 15% masks a lot of problems because these are national rates,” Giovenco recently told an audience at UWM.

Giovenco says tobacco use is still a public health crisis – especially when it comes to African American and Latino populations. Tobacco companies target African American communities at a rate 10 times higher than other communities, he said.

“We can’t forget this public health issue because it’s affecting disproportionally vulnerable populations,” Giovenco said.

Giovenco, assistant professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, has spent much of his academic career studying how marketing by tobacco companies influences African American and Latino communities…

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