An Article by Bruce Barcelo
It has been 54 years since the Surgeon General’s report, Smoking and Health, really had a major impact to change policy and how we as Americans would see tobacco. Did you know the government was so concerned that the news the Surgeon General Luther Terry was about to give, was so powerful and the smoking rates were so high in the U.S., they held the press conference to release the report on a Saturday morning? This began a major decline in tobacco use in the general population but, unfortunately, nicotine use and secondhand smoke exposure is still higher among some groups.
As awareness of nicotine-related disparities has grown, the need to address these needs has become more clear. Health equity in nicotine prevention and control is the ability for all people to live a healthy and nicotine-free life, regardless of their race, gender identity, level of education, the job they have, sexual orientation, if they have a disability or where they may live.
The Breathing Association is a community leader In addressing nicotine-related disparities. We provide best practice cessation to the populations that the tobacco industry targets with their deadly products. The Breathing Association also is a leading advocate for policies that promote health equity. It is always important to remember where we have been. Then always link arms and move forward. I heard a phrase several weeks ago that has stayed with me, “The day we plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit”.