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New Study shows pervasiveness of cigars and cigarillos in African-American neighborhoods (American Legacy Association)

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Research published today in the American Journal of Public Health showed that little cigars and cigarillos are more available, cheaper and highly advertised in African American neighborhoods of Washington DC. The Legacy Foundation funded study surveyed 750 retail stores from September 2011 through March 2012. “Research indicates that people typically begin using LCC products in young adulthood,” said Jennifer Cantrell, DrPH, Director of Research and Evaluation at Legacy and lead author of this study. “The high availability and lower prices, combined with a greater amount of outdoor advertising, may establish environmental triggers to smoke among groups susceptible to initiation, addiction, and the long-term negative health consequences of tobacco use.” “We know the African American community already suffers from a disproportionate burden of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality,” said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO at Legacy. “Marketing tactics like lower prices and heavy advertising may only help to magnify that disparity. Already, more than 45,000 African Americans lose their lives each year to tobacco-related diseases, including heart disease, cancers, emphysema and stroke.” “Currently, little cigars and cigarillos are not held to the same federal regulations as cigarettes.” Policy strategies can help prevent industry targeting of vulnerable populations that are already disproportionately impacted by tobacco-related illnesses.

Read the press release from the American Legacy Association.