Health Equity


“We don’t smoke that s**t. We just sell it. We reserve the right to smoke for the young, the poor, the black and stupid.”

– R.J. Reynolds executive’s reply when asked why he didn’t smoke, according to Dave Goerlitz, lead Winston cigarette model for seven years for R.J. Reynolds. Giovanni, J, “Come to Cancer Country; USA; Focus,” The Times of London, August 2, 1992.

Tobacco Companies Exploit Minorities

They’re very good at identifying groups of people who might be feeling stress in life. People who feel like outsiders because of their sexual preferences. Or because of the color of their skin.
They create multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and plaster their ads everywhere they can.
Three groups that have been in the tobacco industry’s crosshairs most recently are African-Americans, Latinos, and the LGBT community.


FACT – In 2007, there were 2.6 times as many tobacco ads per person in neighborhoods with an African American majority as compared to white-majority areas.

FACT – Cigarette smoking is a major cause of cancer and the leading cause of lung cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Latinos and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among Hispanics.

FACT – Smoking prevalence for men in the LGBT community is about 50% higher than that of men in the general community and smoking for women in the LGBT community is almost triple that of women in the general community.