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Health Disparities

Eliminating Tobacco-Related Disparities

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Tobacco kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined. Approximately 8,600 Alabama adults die each year from their own smoking and approximately 800 adult nonsmokers die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke. Approximately 108,000 Alabama children under 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.

Tobacco use among members of certain racial or ethnic populations and/or people of low socioeconomic status is higher than for the general population. Often these groups also have less access to health care and other resources that would help them prevent and/or treat their illnesses, resulting in a disproportionate burden of tobacco-related disease and death. Eliminating tobacco-related health disparities poses a great challenge to Alabama and the nation.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) recognizes the need to address health disparities and the impact of tobacco use. Funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ADPH recruited a diverse, comprehensive, and representative group to form the Alabama Disparities Workgroup. The workgroup was formed to develop a statewide strategic plan to guide future work to eliminate tobacco-related disparities. This work is contained in the Alabama Strategic Plan for Eliminating Tobacco-Related Disparities (8MB).

Page last updated: May 13, 2021