LOS ANGELES, Feb. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) launches its first quit menthol cigarette campaign to address the risks and harms of menthol tobacco use within communities most exposed to menthol – Black communities, LGBTQ, and young adults. Menthol and other flavors in tobacco hides the harsh taste of tobacco with a cool or minty flavor which can result in smokers inhaling deeper into the lungs resulting in greater exposure to the harmful and addictive chemicals. Black communities are among the highest groups of menthol smokers in LA County. Also, according to the 2018 California Youth Tobacco Survey, all high school students in LA County who reported smoking cigarettes only smoked menthol/mint cigarettes.
“The tobacco industry has disproportionately marketed menthol cigarettes in Black communities as well as towards LGBTQ and youth. Over 12 percent of African American smokers in LA County reported smoking menthol cigarettes compared to just over 3% of white smokers,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Public Health continues the efforts towards reversing the harmful effects tobacco has done in these communities.”
The Black community uses menthol tobacco products at a higher rate than other smokers. For decades, the tobacco industry has used aggressive advertising tactics to attract Black, LGBTQ, and young people to use and become addicted to menthol cigarettes. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has just released a new report titled, Stopping Menthol, Saving Lives, documenting the tobacco industry’s heavy and deliberate marketing in Black communities, especially towards Black youth, for more than 60 years and as a result the impact the Black community has unfairly suffered from tobacco use.
This media and public education campaign satirizes cigarette ads, acknowledging the impact of glamour and style, using these attributes to help inform about the health risks of smoking menthol cigarettes. The campaign will work with Los Angeles based Black-owned media and Spanish media networks for in-language messaging and to reach the audiences most impacted by the tobacco industry’s marketing tactics. The campaign efforts will include radio, online and social media advertisements, as well as place-based and outdoor advertisements such as posters at convenience store locations.
The campaign encourages people to call 1-800-NO-BUTTS (1-800-45-NO-FUME in Spanish) for free counseling and help to start a quit plan. People can also visit LAQuits.com/menthol for resources to help quit.
The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of over 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,100 employees and has an annual budget of $1 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, visit PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/LAPublicHealth, facebook.com/LAPublicHealth, instagram.com/LApublichealth and youtube.com/LAPublicHealth.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health works to protect health, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being.
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SOURCE The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health