Black History Month and health are the focus of a video campaign honoring members of the Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus. The series of videos features members: Rep. Dora Drake, Rep. Sheila Stubbs and Rep. Kalan Haywood who shared information on policy work and other issues, including those related to tobacco, that they are addressing as part of their dedication to improve health outcomes and increase health equity in Wisconsin.
“I have been outspoken in my opposition to the tobacco companies' marketing of menthol cigarettes to the Black community” said past chair of the Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus, State Rep. Sheila Stubbs, D-Madison. “In Wisconsin, Black people have a life expectancy that is 7 years lower than our white counterparts. We face higher rates of heart disease, cancer, and strokes, which are the leading cause of death in our community. Menthol cigarettes are a direct contributor to the poor health outcomes and now is the time for a change.”
The campaign is being led by the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network, the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Poverty Network, and Wisconsin Wins. The groups have been working to address tobacco related health disparities and improve health outcomes through community-led movements that address menthol, smoke-free housing efforts, and issues related to health equity and social justice. They’ve also led campaigns to inform residents of increased COVID-19 related risks for smokers.
Members of Wisconsin’s Legislative Black Caucus have been active supporters of the tobacco-prevention efforts, participating in events such as No Menthol Sunday, an annual day of advocacy, and other campaigns. The Wisconsin Legislative Black Caucus is also hosting a series of events, both virtual and in-person to honor Black History Month, which are open to the public (virtual and in-person). To learn more about those events click here.