Lung health disparities persist among Black Americans, especially in lung cancer and menthol cigarette use. Menthol cigarettes remain a key vector for tobacco-related death and disease in Black communities, with more than 80% of Black Americans who smoke using them. Addressing tobacco use in Black communities is important because 73% of Black individuals who smoke want to quit smoking; yet are typically less successful than other populations in their quit attempts in part due to lower utilization of cessation treatments such as counseling and medication. In anticipation of the Food and Drug Administration’s expected proposal to remove menthol cigarettes from the marketplace, the American Lung Association is actively working to address these disparities and the systemic issues that perpetuate them.
The American Lung Association joins the 20+ year efforts of leading Black organizations including The Center for Black Health & Equity and the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) to educate and build confidence among public health professionals and community-based individuals in developing meaningful, equitable engagement with Black adults, youth, and their families and lead sustainable tobacco control and cessation programs to improve health equity among Black Americans.
Our Addressing Tobacco Use in Black Communities Toolkit features a variety of culturally competent resources, trainings, videos, and other relevant materials focused on three key objectives:
- Build Competence by learning about the racist history of tobacco in Black communities;
- Encourage Connectedness by learning how to be an authentic ally and building better community partnerships; and
- Confidence to Act with materials, resources, and trainings to equip toolkit users.