The Tobacco Industry Makes Inequity Worse

People already facing discrimination are industry targets

The Tobacco Industry Makes Inequity Worse

Because of racism and other forms of bias, some people face more barriers to getting things they need to thrive—like access to health care and economic opportunities.

This is systemic inequity, and it hurts people.

The tobacco industry is making it worse. Targeting people around the world who face inequity makes already unfair, unequal systems even more unequal.

Tobacco companies use predatory marketing tactics on people who, due to discrimination, are already more likely to have worse health outcomes.

The industry has relentlessly targeted Black people with menthol cigarettes, resulting in 88.5% of Black smokers smoking menthol cigarettes, compared to 29% of white smokers.

Tobacco companies widen tobacco use gaps between indigenous and non-indigenous populations.

Philip Morris New Zealand advertised its electronic tobacco product, IQOS, in areas with high Māori populations and reportedly sold it to Māori groups for half-price.

And the industry works to keep poorer people—those who can least afford the costs of tobacco-related disease—hooked.

The industry fights tax increases and uses its own pricing strategies to keep cigarettes affordable so low-income and price-sensitive consumers don't cut back or quit.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The industry’s exploitative tactics have historic roots, but continue today. Governments can act—now.

Download the infographic to learn more.