Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tobacco Fight Far From Over - LTE

"We have a serious problem, and the new [smoke-free air] law is only one step in the right direction."

These words come from Lorraine Lathen, with the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network, whose letter to the editor was published in The Journal Sentinel in Milwaukee and The Journal Times in Racine.

One area Lathen targets for improvement in her letter, is the use of menthol in cigarettes to target African Americans, a community she represents through her coalition. She says in the article, "In the 1960's, the tobacco industry found that African Americans smoked more menthol cigarettes than non-menthol cigarettes. As a result of their findings, they began marketing menthol-flavored cigarettes in African American communities as well as in highly segregated urban communities... Sadly they have not stopped these marketing practices since." Her marketing claim is supported by the CDC.
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Lathen continues on to explain more about menthol in cigarettes, why it's appealing to some and why it's so dangerous.

She ends her letter encouraging readers to "Fight back today" by quitting their smoking habit or helping others they know to quit, volunteering with her coalition, and educating others on the impact menthol has in their communities.

Check out the full JS article here or JT article here.

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