Health disparities are reflected through differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment. If a health outcome is seen to a greater or
lesser extent between populations, there is disparity.
Social determinants of health are the conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age. These factors affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. Some of those factors include economic stability, social and community context, neighborhood and environment, health care, and education. They are affected by structural racism, oppression, and power imbalances.
Facing Tobacco-Related Health Disparities
The California Department of Education has identified the following student groups as having disparately high rates of tobacco use, and potentially higher rates of adverse health outcomes:
These groups were identified using statewide data. Not all communities are the same, so it is important to assess your own community and accurately address your local tobacco-use disparities.
When working to reduce these disparities, it is important to consider and address the social determinants of health that may be contributing to their high rates of tobacco use.
Although tobacco use has declined since 1964, disparities remain across groups defined by race, ethnicity, educational level, socioeconomic status, and geography. Tobacco companies have strategically marketed tobacco products to target racial and ethnic communities for decades.
Visit the Truth Initiative's website to learn more about tobacco as a social justice issue.
The Tobacco Industry has targeted tribal communities by heavily marketing brands like Natural American Spirit, sponsoring events, and feigning support of the culture to encourage commercial tobacco use (nontraditional use). They have appropriated the culture to appeal to this community, leading to some of California's highest tobacco use rates.
American Lung Association
Download a PDF factsheet titled: "The LGBT Community: A Priority Population for Tobacco Control" to learn more about the increased risk faced and messaging strategies for moving forward.
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Download a PDF factsheet titled "Tobacco Harms to Kids" to learn more about tobacco impacts on children in the home and during pregnancy.
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Download a PDF factsheet titled: "Health Harms Caused by Pregnant Women Smoking of Being Exposed to Secondhand Smoke" to learn about the impacts of tobacco use during pregnancy.
Visit the TobaccoFreeCA website page: "A Story of Inequity" to learn more about identified groups facing tobacco-related health disparities. The website shares the stories of how these groups have been targeted.
Visit the TRDRP website page: "Tobacco-Related Health Disparities" to learn more about health disparity groups and ways to optimize tobacco-prevention interventions among these populations.