Rates of cigarette smoking have dropped substantially in the US over the past few decades. But lots of Americans still smoke, and the burden of tobacco-related illness does not fall evenly across our population. That is tragic under normal circumstances, with tobacco use leading to heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and emphysema, to name but a few relevant illnesses. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s even more tragic, because tobacco smoking significantly increases the lethality of the virus.
So why isn’t tobacco use evenly spread across the population? In part, it’s because the more challenges a person faces in life, the more likely they are to smoke.
To read the rest of this piece, please visits my column on Forbes.