July 22, 2014

Smoking and Related Illnesses Disproportionately Affect Low-Income People

In California, 18.6 percent of individuals with low socio-economic status (SES) smoke  – a rate more than three times higher than among more affluent populations. A new California-focused report, Smoking in Low Socioeconomic Status Populations: Prevalence, Health Impact, Challenges and Recommendations, from the Break Free Alliance shows that disadvantaged populations smoke at a significantly higher rate than the general population and are much less likely to quit – which means they are also affected disproportionately by cancer and other tobacco-related illnesses.

The tobacco industry has played a major role in this disparity by targeting specific segments of low socioeconomic status (SES) populations. Women of low SES are particularly at risk, given the more severe health consequences they experience from smoking and direct tobacco industry marketing, and are highlighted in this report. A fact sheet specifically for women was developed in both English and Spanish.

For information on addressing tobacco use in your practice, visit TobaccoFree, ACU’s web portal to practice resources on tobacco use among the underserved.

Available here:

Report Highlights [PDF]

Fact Sheet for Women – English [PDF]  

Fact Sheet for Women – Spanish [PDF]  

Full report [PDF]

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