By Julianne Malveaux, Newswire Contributor Nearly half a million people die every year from complications from smoking. About a tenth of them never put a cigarette to their lips – they die from exposure to second-hand smoke. Death from tobacco is, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of preventable death. But too many people, enticed by advertising, think that smoking is so “cool” that they embrace it. And the tobacco industry spent more than $9 billion on smoking advertising, or about a million dollars an hour. For too many, cigarettes are a desperate addiction, encouraged by pernicious advertising. The addiction hits folks of color – Black and brown folks — hardest. We are more likely to be exposed to heavy advertising, more likely to become addicted, and more likely to die from complications of smoking addiction. Public policy can help ameliorate this challenge, perhaps, by further restricting who can buy tobacco and when. Because addictions start early, public policy can help by supporting efforts underway to limit the sale of nicotine to those who are under 21. Instead, unfortunately, some would prefer to restrict the sale of vaping products in particular to keep them out of… Read full this story
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