Smoking and vaping have been extremely destructive to Black America. Historically, African American neighborhoods battle redlining, gentrification displacement, broken homes, high crime and drug use rates, and over-policing. We also struggle with inadequate access to health care, housing, fresh food options and public education. Rather than seeing resources designed to improve the health of our community, even more tobacco retail stores are built in neighborhoods that already have an abundance of smoke shops and liquor stores.
Compared to non-Black communities, African American neighborhoods have more stores that sell tobacco products. These stores have more tobacco posters and larger-sized advertisements plastered on doors and walls fronts. Tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and cigars/cigarillos, are cheaper in these neighborhoods to lure youth and adult consumers.
Big Tobacco attempts to keep African Americans addicted to nicotine by providing funding and sponsorships for Black cultural and musical events and scholarships for Black students. They sponsor Black Greek organization activities, advertise in magazines, and at venues popular with African Americans to stay relevant, relatable, and appealing to their target. They have invaded our culture by using prominent African American leaders to gain the trust of the Black community in exchange for our support, cooperation, or silence. These manipulative tactics hit close to home, as local African American leaders openly support an industry destroying Las Vegas’ Black communities.
also known as e-cigarettes or vapes, have increased in popularity among youth and young adults.
Source: 2019 Nevada Adult Tobacco Survey