Smoking is an addiction and as most smokers know, quitting isn't easy. Some groups have higher smoking rates including the African American community, where over 20 percent of adults report that they currently use tobacco. And African Americans have a harder time quitting because of aggressive, targeted marketing campaigns promoting mentholated tobacco products and a lack of access to affordable quit smoking resources.
The American Lung Association and National Urban League are working together to reduce this disparity in the African-American community by offering free quit-smoking services in four cities across the country. Funded through the CVS Health Foundation, this partnership will reduce the burden of tobacco use and tobacco-related illness by giving people access to the American Lung Association's Freedom From Smoking® program, a proven-effective smoking cessation program.
Each year in the U.S., more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in the country. Smoking can cause or worsen numerous diseases and conditions, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease and more. In fact, tobacco use is a major contributor to the three leading causes of death among African-Americans—heart disease, cancer and stroke—and causes 45,000 African-American deaths every year.
Through this initiative, we are working to promote and provide better access to proven quit-smoking programs to communities in Chicago, Atlanta, Indianapolis and Washington, D.C. Freedom From Smoking has helped more than one million smokers quit and is available by phone, through local support groups, and even online. Participants will learn about building a quit plan, medications that can aid quitting smoking, lifestyle changes that support quitting smoking, how to manage stress and how to overcome relapse and become smokefree for good.
Support for the partnership between the American Lung Association and National Urban League is being provided through CVS Health’s five-year $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation and extend the company's larger commitment to helping people lead tobacco-free lives.