La relación entre los afroamericanos y los cigarrillos mentolados

No es por casualidad que la mayoría de los fumadores afroamericanos prefieren los cigarrillos mentolados. Durante muchos años, la comunidad afroamericana ha sido un objetivo prioritario del mercadeo de cigarrillos mentolados, con mensajes adaptados a su cultura, por parte de la industria tabacalera. 1, 2 Su estrategia de marketing ha funcionado. En Estados Unidos, casi 9 de cada 10 fumadores afroamericanos mayores de 12 años prefieren los cigarrillos mentolados. 3 De hecho, la probabilidad de que un fumador afroamericano fume cigarrillos mentolados es 11 veces mayor que la de los fumadores blancos. 4

Las tabacaleras colocan sus anuncios publicitarios estratégicamente en más publicaciones para afroamericanos, y por lo tanto han estado más expuestos que las comunidades blancas a publicidad de cigarrillos. 5 Por otra parte, hay más establecimientos que venden productos de tabaco en los vecindarios de población predominantemente afroamericana o de otras minorías. 6 Y las tabacaleras también crean promociones de precios, como descuentos y cupones para múltiples cajetillas, que son usados con más frecuencia por los afroamericanos y por otros grupos minoritarios. 7 Las tiendas en los vecindarios negros incluso dedican más espacio en los estantes a los cigarrillos mentolados. 8 Algunas otras estrategias que la industria del tabaco ha implementado para promocionar los cigarrillos mentolados entre los afroamericanos incluyen las siguientes: campañas que usan la cultura y el lenguaje popular de los afroamericanos para promover los cigarrillos mentolados, eventos especiales en bares de hip-hop patrocinados por las tabacaleras donde se distribuyen muestras gratis de cigarrillos mentolados y promociones por correo directo. 9, 10

Los estudios indican que los cigarrillos mentolados podrían ser más adictivos que los no mentolados.11

El mentol hace que comenzar a fumar sea más fácil y que dejar de fumar sea más difícil. 12 El sabor del mentol hace que los pulmones se expandan aún más y permite que más de las sustancias químicas cancerígenas presentes en el humo de los cigarrillos se absorban en el organismo, lo que conduce a la adicción, la enfermedad y la muerte. 13, 14 Este es uno de los motivos por los cuales los afroamericanos –aun cuando generalmente fuman menos y comienzan a fumar más tarde– tienen más probabilidades que otros grupos de morir a causa de enfermedades relacionadas con el hábito de fumar. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 Las cuatro principales causas de muerte entre los afroamericanos son las enfermedades cardíacas, el cáncer, los derrames cerebrales y la diabetes, y el consumo de tabaco es un factor importante de riesgo en todas ellas. 21, 22, 23

Como todos los fumadores, la mayoría de los afroamericanos quieren dejar de fumar, y muchos lo han intentado. 24, 25

La relación entre los cigarrillos mentolados y los fumadores afroamericanos es tan fuerte que, si los cigarrillos mentolados se prohibieran, cerca del 44.5 por ciento de los afroamericanos fumadores de cigarrillos mentolados dejarían de fumar. 26 No obstante, la evidencia muestra que los fumadores de cigarrillos mentolados, sobre todo los afroamericanos y los hispanos, tienden a fracasar en sus intentos de dejar de fumar más que los que fuman cigarrillos no mentolados.27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 A pesar de que intentan dejar de fumar más veces, los afroamericanos tienen menos éxito que los fumadores blancos o hispanos, posiblemente debido a un menor uso de recursos de ayuda (como los medicamentos y la asesoría terapéutica). 36, 37

La buena noticia es que Tobacco Free Florida tiene herramientas y servicios para ayudar a que los fumadores afroamericanos dejen de fumar. Si estás listo para dejar de fumar, ve a tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway y elabora una estrategia para dejar de fumar exitosamente. Si quieres ayudar, visita tobaccofreeflorida.com/get-involved e infórmate sobre cómo puedes combatir el consumo de tabaco en tu comunidad.

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