Some say it is so easy to blame folks in poverty for making bad choices with their lives. But it’s more complicated than that and not fair. These dam tobacco companies with their endless budget to invest target these communities to encourage the habit, and the stresses of living in poverty and sometimes hopelessness also cause people to turn to cigarettes and they are made to believe that smoking will reduce stress, which we know it is a big fat lie.
With more cigarette advertising: larger signs, and three times as many brand ads. Tobacco manufacturers also specifically target young people in lower socioeconomic and minority neighborhoods and sell cheaper cigarettes in poor communities. This is an unconscionable strategy on the part of Big Tobacco.
Another factor is that economic hardships, such as hunger, unstable housing and problems keeping the heat on are stressful and unhealthy for children. And childhood adversity is linked to unhealthy behaviors later, particularly to smoking. A Duke University study found that “worries about paying bills or needing to sell possessions for cash independently erode a child’s self-control, regardless of strong parenting.” That lack of self-control often leads to smoking.
Clearly public health programs such as tobacco taxes and smoke-free public places and housing have worked in reducing smoking rates, but it seems poorer communities are being overlooked.
Smoking is the top cause of preventable deaths in the United States. It causes lung cancer, heart disease, bronchitis, emphysema and more — expensive health crises to add to the problems of the poor.
To prevent smoking and keep young people from starting, it will take more than public health messages for sure. It will require changing our economic policies to improve our neighborhood living conditions. People need well-paying jobs and safe communities to reduce the stress that often underlies smoking.
And in this economy it seems like the tobacco companies will thrive yet again and again.
In my opinion these tobacco companies needs to be highly regulated and the cigarette pack need to look dull and only with list of the toxic ingredients and warning signs of all kind of bad it is for the health to smoke and it would be wonderful thing if Hollywood would finally start demonizing smoking, that factor alone would make the tobacco companies run for their money.