We’re so excited to partner with the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) to help expand awareness of tobacco harm and their movement to end commercial tobacco use.

Evidence suggests that formerly incarcerated men, including those who have been wrongfully convicted have significantly higher rates of mortality and morbidity than the general population, disparities that have been partially attributed to higher rates of tobacco smoking-related illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease and cancer. (Howell, et al., 2015)

While it is well known that  people smoke as ‘self-medication’ to ease feelings of stress, research has shown that smoking actually increases anxiety and tension. Nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation, so people smoke in the belief it reduces stress and anxiety.

This feeling is temporary and soon gives way to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings. Smoking reduces the withdrawal symptoms, but doesn’t reduce anxiety or deal with the reasons someone may feel that way. This is a vicious cycle for many, particularly for those who suffer from the psychological trauma of being wrongfully convicted.

However, there is good news if you are a smoker.  It’s never too late to give up and you may find that quitting reduces levels of stress, anxiety and depression.  There is a lot of support available to quit and EN’s partnership with the AATCLC is here to help!

The AATCLC is the country’s leading public health education and advocacy organization taking on Big Tobacco to save Black lives.  Their work informs and influences the direction of tobacco control as it affects the lives of African American and African Immigrant communities.

We’ve provided some information and resources here to help you learn more about the fight to end commercial tobacco.  You can also visit the AATCLC website at https://www.savingblacklives.org/.  Please share this information with others.