Tobacco use remains an epidemic in Washington, DC, particularly in the African-American community, and is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke. However, lawmakers in the District of Columbia have taken bold steps over the years to create a smoke-free environment.
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We all have a responsibility to advocate for policies to limit tobacco’s effects on our communities. For example, we can unite to support policies that make tobacco consumption more expensive by voting to increase the cigarette tax.
Would you believe it if we told you that Washington, DC hasn’t increased its cigarette tax since 2009, and that the $2.50 per pack tax only ranks 13th among all states? Or that annual health care expenditures in the District of Columbia caused by tobacco use are $391 million? Or that over 27% of Ward 7 and 8 residents smoke?
Those are some staggering numbers, we know – and sometimes, it is also a very personal issue. Over the next weeks and months, we will introduce some of our advocates who have made a real difference within our You’re the Cure network as they have supported tobacco cessation and heart health in their communities.
You’ll learn what they’re doing, why they’re doing it – and how you can work alongside them to make a smoke-free community in DC.
To learn more about the campaign, please take action to support raising the cigarette tax in the District and help people quit!
Next, we’ll be back with You’re the Cure advocate Gail Mates, as she shares why this campaign is so important to her.