Minnesota residents, in particular north Minneapolis, should pay close attention to the new television ad launched by ClearWay Minnesota this past week to raise awareness about how the tobacco industry targets flavored tobacco products at certain populations; especially African Americans and youth. Unfortunately, these tobacco companies sell products in flavors that mask the harshness of tobacco – such as strawberry and grape to make it more appealing. So, parents/guardians and youth should beware because our communities suffer higher rates of disease and death due to smoking. Everyone should know that lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other tobacco-related diseases are leading causes of death in other populations; as well.
The tobacco industry is legally allowed to commit a crime against our community and we are paying the price to make them rich with our lives. As a community Elder, grandparent, and health and wellness advocate, it is my hope that our communities pay close attention and take control of their own health and save their lives – STOP smoking! Tell the tobacco industry to STOP selling candy-flavored death. STOP the tobacco industry from using flavors to hook our youth! Support the effort our Senator Jeff Hayden, Senator Bobby Joe Champion, and Representative Rita Moran in the push to protect our communities from menthol-flavored products.