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Tobacco Ads More Common In Black Areas

Billboards for tobacco products are more than twice as common in black neighborhoods as they are in white ones, according to a review of a handful of separate studies. In the review, which appears in the September/October issue of Public Health Reports, researchers found there were 4.5 tobacco billboards per 10,000 residents in white areas and 11.8 per 10,000 in black neighborhoods.

Data also shows any given billboard in a black market is 70% more apt to be for tobacco than those in white ones. "If these populations are more exposed, we should be thinking about making sure that we're doing extra public health interventions to combat that exposure," says Brian Primack, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of the review.

"A specific method for that kind of intervention is the idea of media literacy," he says, "teaching people to consciously evaluate the advertising messages that are all around them."



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