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|State organization raises awareness about tobacco use|
By Shawntell Lewis-Harrell
Communities of Color Network (CoC) is a statewide initiative at Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center commissioned to reduce tobacco use, consumption and secondhand exposures among parishes such as Concordia that have an African-American population of 25 percent or more.
CoC Network is an affiliated program of The Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living.
"Tobacco use is the number one killer among African Americans -- we're saving lives," comments CoC Network Program Director, Linda Early Brown. "We exist to make a difference through tobacco education and awareness. The tobacco industry spends millions marketing their product to smokers and our children, especially in the African-American community. We educate citizens how to recognize these tactics and encourage others to join the fight to reduce morbidity and mortality rates in Louisiana's communities of color."
"Research proves tobacco is a life threatening issue for our families and our communities," says Dr. Gina E. Eubanks, Vice Chancellor for Extension at SU Ag Center. "It's alarming to know that more African Americans die annually from tobacco related diseases than homicides, HIV, diabetes and accidental deaths, combined. SU Ag Center is committed to supporting the efforts of CoC Network in reducing and eradicating tobacco consumption statewide."
"More than 70 percent of African American smokers wish to quit smoking," said Brown. "But, we have the smallest success rate of any group because of a lack of tobacco education. These numbers can and will change for the better -- Louisiana's communities of color may one day lead the way to tobacco-free living. Our motto is CoC Network is not waiting until the smoke clears, CoC Network is clearing the smoke."
For more information call 318-767-2609.
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