Mayor Emanuel and Members of Chicago City Council,
The Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition (CHHC) strongly opposes any efforts to weaken the ordinance that restricts the sale of flavored and menthol cigarettes.
Over 45% of Hispanic adult smokers use menthol products so we need to remain vigilant in protecting the community from these deadly products. Supporting tobacco control policies is consistent with our mission to promote healthy behavior and prevent chronic disease and health disparities in the Hispanic communities of metropolitan Chicago.
Cancer, heart disease, and stroke—all of which can be caused by cigarette smoking—are among the five leading causes of death among Hispanics. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death among Hispanics. The risk of developing diabetes is 30–40% higher for cigarette smokers than nonsmokers.
We applaud the commitment Mayor Emanuel and the members of City Council have shown towards tobacco control. Please continue to stand up for the Hispanic community and keep the menthol and flavored tobacco restrictions.