SOPHE Supplement Provides New Insights on Effective Strategies for Tobacco Prevention and Control in Diverse Populations
Washington, D.C. – January 7, 2020 – The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) announces the publication of “Tobacco and Health Equity: Interventions, Research, and Strategies to Address Tobacco Use Among Diverse Populations,” a special supplement of its peer-reviewed journal Health Promotion Practice (HPP).
The January 2020 open access supplement features 18 articles addressing the themes of environmental equity and tobacco, equity-informed prevention and cessation interventions, and tobacco-related knowledge, beliefs and behavior among diverse U.S. audiences. Research and programs involving rural and urban residents, Tribal populations, LGBTQ adults, African American and Latino communities, and U.S. Service members are among those featured in the 177- page journal.
Funded by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Office of Minority Health and Health Equity in collaboration with the FDA‘s Center for Tobacco Products, the HPP supplement highlights the FDA’s vital role in addressing tobacco use from a health equity perspective. “The supplement is one of many strategies the FDA is using to raise awareness around important topics that disproportionately affect diverse communities,” write co-guest editors from the FDA’s Office of Minority Health and Health Equity, Jovonni Spinner, MPH, CHES®, senior public health advisor and CAPT Richardae Araojo, PharmD, MS, associate commissioner for minority health, in their opening commentary co-authored with Mitch Zeller, JD, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco products. “Despite national declines in overall tobacco use since the 1960’s, disparities still exist among vulnerable populations in terms of tobacco prevalence, premature death, and secondhand smoke exposure.”
Tobacco use is more prevalent among racial and ethnic minorities and persons of low-socioeconomic status (SES), who have been historically targeted in specific marketing campaigns. Articles address marketing of flavored tobacco products, tobacco labeling and advertising, menthol cigarettes, as well as e-cigarettes, which are among the fastest growing tobacco products used by youth.
A national survey of teens showed significant differences based on SES and demographic status in terms of the perceived health risks of e-cigarettes.
Females and LGBTQ individuals were more likely to perceive health risks from nicotine or toxins/chemicals in e-cigarettes compared to other study participants. Those of lower SES, non-Hispanic blacks from low-income families, or urban residents were less likely to perceive health risks of nicotine or toxins/chemicals in e- cigarettes.
The findings can provide important insights to reaching youth via programs such as the FDA’s public education campaign, Fresh Empire, which reaches multicultural teens with messages that reflect hip-hop culture and emphasize a tobacco-free lifestyle.
Another study examined tobacco ads at retails stores in Greensboro, North Carolina, where African Americans represent a greater proportion of the population than other parts of the state. The study revealed that tobacco advertising to this minority population used prominent messaging strategies, especially with cigarette and non-large cigar advertisements, to redirect attention from harmful effects of the products to their favorable attributes or feelings. Messaging aimed to reassure users that the tobacco product was safe despite the health risks, was found more frequently in e-cigarette advertising.
In addition to exploring tobacco-related attitudes and beliefs, “the supplement presents evidence-based interventions that demonstrate the power of education and community mobilization,” says HPP Editor-in-Chief Dr. Kathleen Roe. Youth advocacy training, citizen science, healthy housing organizing, and participatory retail audits effectively engaged diverse groups in addressing health equity in their own communities. “Each article in this rich collection tells a story with important implications for practice, policy, and research.”
About Health Promotion Practice
Health Promotion Practice (HPP) is an official journal SOPHE. Published bimonthly, the journal is a forum for authoritative research, commentary, practical tools, and promising practices that strategically advance the art and science of health promotion and disease prevention. Now in its 20th year, HPP’s scope includes policy, programs, professional preparation, and career development in diverse settings, including communities, health care, work sites, and schools. HPP’s Editor-in-Chief Dr. Kathleen Roe, is a SOPHE Distinguished Fellow and professor and former department chair of Health Science and Recreation, San Jose State University.