People with Low Socioeconomic Status and Commercial Tobacco: Health Disparities and Ways to Advance Health Equity

Collage of Persons with low socioeconomic status

Everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This is called health equity. Achieving health equity means addressing systemwide 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 population groups with low socioeconomic status (SES) defined by educational attainment, poverty, household income, and employment status. To improve health equity, we must consider the role of commercial tobacco.*

*“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.