Children’s HealthWatch Principal Investigator, Megan Sandel, and RenéeBoynton-Jarrett, Director of the Vital Village Network, co authored a CNN Opinion article on why smoking is not declining in poor communities as it is in more affluent places.
Why do poor people smoke more?
Crystal R. takes pictures of her neighborhood as part of Witnesses to Hunger. Among Crystal’s photos of piles of trash, abandoned lots and barbed wire fences is a striking picture: large advertisements for “special prices” of cigarettes promising “Kool — be true” that greet her on her way to shop for food.
A recent analysis of federal data by the Population Health Metrics found that as smoking declines at a fast rate in more affluent communities, the rates are staying the same among the poor and working class. More people are smoking in poorer communities.
It is easy to blame people in poverty for making bad choices. But it’s more complicated than that.