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Double Whammy for Older Smokers: Marginalized by Tobacco Control and Valued by the Tobacco Industry


In the last 20 years, the United States has made stunning progress reducing the rate of adult smoking. However, the smallest reduction is among older adults. Compared to younger smokers, older smokers are more likely to be lower socioeconomic status (SES), have several tobacco related comorbidities, and are less likely to be treated for tobacco addiction yet, in tobacco policy, they are not considered a marginalized group. The tobacco industry's interest in older smokers contrasts with the lack of interest shown by tobacco control. A double whammy is a set of two bad events or situations that have an effect at the same time. The purposes of this article are to use the health disparity paradigm to (a) discuss the "double whammy" of marginalization by tobacco control and valuation by the tobacco industry on the health of older smokers and (b) provide strategies to promote health equity for older smokers.

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