Our grantee partner, Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce’s project “IE Smoke Out” hosted their online event, “Kick Butts in the City of Perris Virtual Town Hall Meeting” late last month.
The webinar offered two sessions and discussed COVID19 and its relation to tobacco in Riverside County. Their organization has been proven is committed to the fight to save lives in the Tri-County South Region, which comprises Riverside, San Bernardino, and Imperial counties. Our efforts are to bring awareness to the African American community about the usage of tobacco and the adverse health effects and disparities that are present throughout the community.
We would like to spotlight “Big Tobacco” and how this industry has aggressively targeted the black community for years. The old African proverb states “It takes a village to raise a child”. As an organization, we recognize that the village that we speak of starts with us. We are in the village, right here in California.
The tobacco industry has weaseled its way into our community in the covert ways through marketing and partnerships with products that are prevalent in the black community. In taking a grassroots approach to addressing the systemic inequities that are present, we hope to incite measurable change that will produce more positive health outcomes. Prohibiting the distribution of mentholated and other flavored commercial tobacco products is necessary for the longevity, good health, and prosperity of the Black community. A nicotine and flavor-free Inland Empire is our ultimate vision, a world where the tobacco industry no longer has influence over our organizations, children, and families.
Our Project Director, Carol McGruder spoke facts about how those who may have pre-existing respiratory issues may be at greater risk for contracting Coronavirus.
We ended with a call to action for all our participants to join forces and take a stand against Big Tobacco. Through our Health Coalition, social channels and volunteering at new upcoming activities so that you can be a part of a wonderful and incredible change for a tobacco-free Inland Empire.