The Casualties Left Behind in Tobacco’s Cinders of Combustion

  • Pebbles FaganEmail author
  • Mignonne Guy
  • Linda Alexander
  • Valandra Oliver
Tobacco (K Garrison, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Tobacco


Purpose of Review

This paper (1) defines the scope of tobacco-related health disparities; (2) reviews population-based approaches aimed to eliminate disparities—Medicaid, the U.S. Preventive Health Service Task Force, and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; and (3) discusses their potential role in reducing tobacco use and lung cancer disparities.

Recent Findings

The implementation of population-based approaches aimed to reduce tobacco use and chronic diseases has been inequitable. The poor are predominately affected by limited access to comprehensive tobacco cessation coverage. Moreover, lung cancer screenings reveal that those disproportionately excluded are African-Americans who have the highest lung cancer incidence and mortality in the USA. The potential impact of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act is unclear, but the proposed rule to ban menthol in combustible and not non-combustible tobacco products could potentially contribute to a cycle of addiction in disadvantaged communities. Alternative solutions, including civil rights litigation, should be investigated.


Eliminating tobacco-related health disparities is a health, social justice, civil rights, and ethical issue that deserves immediate attention and equitable policy solutions.


Disparities Tobacco Race Ethnicity Civil rights Smoking 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pebbles Fagan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mignonne Guy
    • 2
  • Linda Alexander
    • 3
  • Valandra Oliver
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for the Study of Tobacco, Department Health Behavior and Health Education, Fay W. Boozman College of Public HealthUniversity of Arkansas for Medical SciencesLittle RockUSA
  2. 2.Department of African American StudiesVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA
  3. 3.School of Public HealthWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  4. 4.Minority Research Center on Tobacco and AddictionsUniversity of Arkansas at Pine BluffPine BluffUSA

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