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“No Smoking Sunday” to be Celebrated in Faith Communities Across Washington State

SEATTLE — Faith communities across Washington State will observe “No Smoking Sunday” on

May 19, a new effort to raise awareness about one of the leading causes of preventable death

for Black/African Americans: menthol tobacco.

This event is one of the latest projects under the They Think They Know You campaign, which

was launched by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) in Spring 2023. The

campaign seeks to bring attention to the fact that the Black/African American population is

disproportionately targeted with menthol tobacco products — which are more heavily

advertised, more widely available and priced cheaper than in other communities.

But the campaign isn’t just about raising awareness. It blatantly calls out tobacco companies

that use manipulation tactics, such as posting ads in areas with a greater concentration of

Blacks/African Americans. They encourage the use of a product that actually increases the

effects of nicotine on the brain and makes tobacco more difficult to put down.

The campaign is also a call to action. The voiceover in the campaign video encourages the

viewer to show tobacco companies they’re wrong to think they know the Black/African

American community. They offer financial support to community groups, events, schools,

churches and social justice organizations just to turn communities into a formula they use to sell

more products. No Smoking Sunday is a partnership between the General Baptist Convention

Northwest (GBCNW) and DOH to prove those companies wrong.

The event encourages the community to “exhale defiance and inhale freedom.” It’s an

opportunity to share stories, struggles and victories. No Smoking Sunday is a way to break free

from tobacco one Sunday, one breath, one community at a time.

Everyone is encouraged to share information from the campaign’s website with the hashtags

#RedefineCool, #MentholFreeMe and #UnmuteYourWill on social media and celebrate No

Smoking Sunday on May 19 with family and friends.

This event is just one project to address menthol tobacco. DOH brought the issue to Converge

Media’s Community Voices program, which featured a discussion with a DOH representative,

local experts, and real community members impacted by menthol tobacco. A video recording

can still be accessed on Converge Media’s YouTube channel.

A focus group study was also conducted to get feedback from real people in the community

affected by menthol tobacco. Data collected from this study will be used in DOH’s future

campaigns in an ongoing effort to reduce menthol tobacco’s influence in Washington State.

For more information about the campaign, resources for mental health and quitting tobacco,




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