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Press Release

Tobacco Prevention Coalition to hear presentation on targeting of African-Americans

July 8, 2003

In an attempt to understand why African American males have elevated rates of lung cancer compared to other ethnicities, the Contra Costa Tobacco Prevention Coalition will hear a presentation Thursday in Richmond titled "The African-Americanization of Menthol Cigarettes in the U.S."

The presentation will be given by Dr. Phil Gardiner, PhD, research administrator with the University of California Office of the President's Tobacco Related Disease Research Program. It will take place at the Tobacco Prevention Coalition meeting scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon July 10 at Bay Area Community Resource, 3219 Pierce St. at Central Avenue in Richmond.

"Studies have shown that smokers may inhale menthol cigarettes deeper than non-menthols," said Gardiner. "This may have an added impact on African-American smokers, because the brands they use are predominately mentholated brands."

Gardiner said statistics show that African Americans die more often from smoking-related diseases than whites. "Health disparities in smoking-related diseases are an important consideration for our coalition," said Denice Dennis, manager of Contra Costa Health Services' Tobacco Prevention Project, which staffs the coalition. "Menthol brands, which are marketed specifically to African Americans, are also more addictive than any other brands of cigarettes."

The Tobacco Prevention Coalition is composed of 19 different community groups and agencies. Other items on the coalition agenda Thursday include a report on work by the West County youth action group Empowerment Through Action.

Members of the group from Middle College High School in San Pablo have been meeting with members of the San Pablo City Council regarding consideration of a Tobacco-Free Youth Ordinance. The ordinance limiting tobacco self-service displays has already been passed by the county Board of Supervisors and the councils of 17 cities in Contra Costa.

For more information about the coalition or the county's Tobacco Prevention Project, call Denice Dennis at 925-313-6825.

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Press Contact
  • Denice Dennis
  • 925-313-6825