Display at Tacoma General offers glimpse into tactics of big tobacco
MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital is hosting an exhibit called “The Evolving Cigarette” Nov. 13-16, in conjunction with this year’s Great American Smokeout.
The exhibit explores tactics used by the tobacco industry over time to create more customers – from marketing to blends of different tobaccos designed to increase addiction. There are only three copies of the 20-foot-long exhibit in existence, one of which is currently in Japan.
“As MultiCare looks forward to next steps as a tobacco-free institution, we believe this exhibit to be helpful for both patient and employee education and awareness,” says Wellness Health Coach Beverly Utt, MS, MPH, with the MultiCare Center for Healthy Living & Health Equity. “The exhibit explores the cigarette, its commercial origins, manufacturing, nicotine delivery, marketing and inventions that support smoking.”
Washington has a lower adult smoking rate than many other states; however, 13.9 percent of adults still smoke, according to the Washington State Department of Health. There are many disparities among different ages, ethnicities and incomes. DOH reports that adults with a household income of less than $25,000 report a smoking prevalence between 25-30 percent, while adults in households making $75,000 or more report less than 10 percent prevalence.
Lower-income households are also more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke, have less access to resources to help them quit, and may have more tobacco marketing in their neighborhoods than higher income households.
The Great American Smokeout began in the 1970s, when smoking and secondhand smoke were common. It is held the third Thursday in October each year. The event challenges people to stop using tobacco and provides education about the many tools available to help them quit.
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