Tobacco Industry & African American/Black Community

Additional Posts

Published on July 1, 2023

Dear Parishioners, Partners, Participants, and Community Members, 

EC Reems Community Services live Life Well Project celebrated Juneteenth on June 18, 2022. On June 19, 1865, enslaved Black people in Texas were notified of their freedom two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Juneteenth continues to be celebrated throughout the Black community.  Juneteenth recently became mainstream – like many other fixtures in our culture. Although it is now being recognized as a national holiday for a second year, we must never lose sight of the true essence of this pivotal day. 

As we remember our ancestors’ journey to liberation, let it compel us to continue the use of social action to work against modern forms of oppression through the health, economic, and legislative systems that stand as barriers of entry and tools of disenfranchisement in the lives of Black and African Americans today. We must remember to celebrate and gather remembering the dual reality of joy on this day but also the heavy truths of what was endured before and after. 

The Tobacco Industry has targeted the Black Community for over half a century. Additionally, the Tobacco Industry has a long history of predatory targeting of African Americans with menthol and other flavored tobacco products, which are deadlier and more addictive than non-flavored products.  Furthermore, communities with a greater proportion of African Americans have a greater density of tobacco retailers and see more tobacco advertising than other neighborhoods.  Finally, for each 10% increase in the proportion of African American students in California, the odds of a Newport promotion were 50% higher, and the cost of Newport was 12 cents lower.

Let us take this time to celebrate Juneteenth by honoring the health of our community.  

Together, we walk in the courageous light of our ancestors leading our communities toward equity and equality in the ways that protect our humanity and uplift one another.

We honor the legacies of our foremothers and forefathers that live in and shine through us always. 

You can join the movement multiple ways.  You can sign a letter of support acknowledging you do not want Elected Officials to take Tobacco Funds.  You can take the No Tobacco Pledge.  You can ask your Pastor, Bishop, Imam, Rabbi or local church to make your Church Campus Smoke Free.  The EC Reems Live Life Well Project can help you.

Please contact us at for further information.  You may also reach us at our website  Finally, tweet us, follow us, and like us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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1 Balbach, Edith D et al. “R.J. Reynolds’ targeting of African Americans: 1988-2000.” American journal of public health vol. 93,5 (2003): 822-7. doi:10.2105/ajph.93.5.822 

2 CDC. “African Americans and Tobacco Use.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 Mar. 2019, 

3 Henriksen, Lisa et al. “Targeted advertising, promotion, and price for menthol cigarettes in California high school neighborhoods.” Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco vol. 14,1 (2012): 116-21. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntr122 

4 “American Medical Association (AMA) Joins Lawsuit against FDA.” American Medical Association, Accessed 20 Apr. 2022. 5 “Tobacco Industry & African American/Black Community.” EC Reems Community Services, 1 Aug. 2021, Accessed 20 Apr. 2022. 

6 “What Is Menthol?”, Accessed 20 Apr. 2022. 

7 “Tobacco Industry & African American/Black Community.” EC Reems Community Services, 1 Aug. 2021, Accessed 20 Apr. 2022. 

8 CDC. National Health Survey. 2019.

9 Jones, Brittni D, and Renee M Cunningham-Williams. “Hookah and Cigarette Smoking Among African American College Students

10 Cooke-Holmes, Elsie. National President, Chair, National Board of Directors Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. “Juneteenth Article.” 19 Jun.  2022.

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