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COVID-19 and the Risks to Smokers

COVID-19 is a health danger for everyone. But for smokers, the threat is even greater. Being a former or current cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Of course, it’s known that smoking reduces lung capacity and impairs lung function. The bigger problem during the pandemic is that it increases the risk of respiratory infections while also increasing the severity of…

Menthol & Big Tobacco’s Manipulation

Decades of Manipulation  The decades-long web of systemic targeting of Black smokers is tangled, including attempts at policy influence, organizational ties, promotions, and targeted marketing.   In the 1960s, the tobacco company Brown and Williamson developed the Kool brand of menthol cigarettes specifically for African Americans. The new cigarette ads featured Black models and were promoted as “young, hip, new, and healthy,” to the public.  At the same time, Big Tobacco…