Agency works to reduce tobacco disparities among Black men in the MS Delta

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JANS – Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and mortality in the United States. Smoking rates are significantly higher among Black men than any other ethnic group. Recent data from the American Lung Association reveals that 20.9% of African American men engage in cigarette use. This is concerning because tobacco use is a barrier to the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. 

The Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health is leading the charge to reduce health disparities associated with tobacco use among African American males twelve and older in the Mississippi Delta. Through a comprehensive community-based strategy, the Institute will collaborate with key stakeholders to address tobacco cessation challenges specific to Black men. This includes the establishment of regular community engagements with the Black Men’s Health Equity Council. The Institute will host a series of outreach activities, implement a comprehensive needs assessment to identify tobacco resources, and utilize local input to develop tobacco advocacy tailored to Black men in the Mississippi Delta. Planned initiatives include increasing access to tobacco cessation resources in disadvantaged and underserved communities and launching social marketing campaigns to disseminate culturally competent messaging to African American men aged twelve and older.

Funded in part by a grant from the Mississippi Department of Health, Office of Tobacco Control, the Institute will host quarterly activities designed to increase knowledge and transform the behavior of Black men who use tobacco. 

Sandra Melvin, CEO of the Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health, emphasized the organization’s commitment, stating, “We intend to build capacity that will provide the community with the tools needed to reduce tobacco inequities and increase health equity among Black men in the Mississippi Delta area.”

If you require support to quit smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. For more details regarding the Institute’s tobacco program, you can contact Lorrie Davis at

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Agency works to reduce tobacco disparities among Black men in the MS Delta

By Jackson Advocate News Service
January 8, 2024