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Tobacco-Related Disparities

Commercial tobacco use is a serious public health concern that impacts many individuals and families across the United States, especially marginalized communities.

The tobacco industry uses target marketing to prey upon at-risk populations to increase sales and gain new customers through advertisements, product promotions, and sponsorship of community-wide celebrations and events.

For decades, the tobacco industry spent millions of dollars to learn how racism, transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, poverty, sexism, and other biases traumatize communities across the United States.

The tobacco industry uses this information against communities to get them - and keep them - addicted to tobacco products. The results are higher-than-average commercial tobacco use rates plus greater health disparities among people and communities that already are navigating barriers to health care, insurance coverage, and lack of tobacco cessation resources.

For more information on how particular communities are impacted by commercial tobacco use in Michigan, please check out our most recent collection of tobacco-related data.

What We're Doing in Michigan

Tobacco cessation programs and policies need to focus on the diverse needs of commercial tobacco users in order to help increase quit attempts, education, and access to reliable services. Failure to create unbiased tobacco cessation programs harms those we are trying to help.

The MDHHS Tobacco Section is committed to health equity by working with medical providers, state agencies, and community-based agencies to understand how economic and social conditions impact commercial tobacco use.

Our goal is to work toward lowering these higher burdens while also decreasing the rate of commercial tobacco use among all residents of our state.

We invite community members and other stakeholders to partner with us as we work to address tobacco's impact on the health and well-being of our residents.

If you are interested in participating in future collaborative efforts to reduce tobacco disparities in the state of Michigan, please contact us at 517-335-8376.

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Artwork credit: The Michigan residential diversity artwork on this page was designed by Dorothy Lieu Keith ( and is the property of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Tobacco Section.