African American People and Commercial Tobacco: Health Disparities and Ways to Advance Health Equity

African American couple

Everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This is called health equity. Achieving health equity means addressing system-wide problems, unfair practices, and unjust conditions that have a negative impact on the health of specific groups. In order to achieve health equity, we work to eliminate health disparities. Health disparities are differences in health outcomes that are closely linked with social, economic, and/or environmental factors, that affect Black/African American people. To improve health equity, we must consider the role of commercial tobacco.*

The terms Black/African American refer to non-Hispanic people of African descent living in the US. When the single terms “Black,” “non-Hispanic, Black,” are used, this corresponds with how terms are used in corresponding published research studies.

*“Commercial tobacco” means harmful products that are made and sold by tobacco companies. It does not include “traditional tobacco” used by Indigenous groups for religious or ceremonial purposes.