According to a recent study by California’s Tobacco-related Disease Research Program, Tobacco advertising targets California’s low-income and African American youth.
The study found that advertisements marketing menthol cigarettes had greater visibility at retailers near predominantly black high schools. In fact, their findings suggest that as the black population of a high school grows, so do the number of advertisements selling menthol and particularly Newport cigarettes in the school’s vicinity. Black students were also more likely to recognize a Newport ad than other races, and low-income neighborhoods reportedly see greater instances of underage tobacco sales.
Obviously, the toll that this is taking on the health of our community, particularly our youth, is unconscionable.
“‘We’re really talking about a horrendous burden on low-income and communities of color, where tobacco retailers are more highly concentrated,’ Henriksen said. ‘The kinds of stores in those communities contain more ads for cigarettes, and they also have more underage sales violations.’
A spokesman for Philip Morris’ parent company, Altria Group, which manufactures Marlboro cigarettes, said in a statement that the company is ‘committed to responsibly marketing its cigarettes to adult smokers.'”
Are you surprised by the results of this study?
Why do you think tobacco companies specifically target black youth?
Sound off below!