essay helper

Being Latino on Google Plus

Latinos have a low smoking rate. Is secondhand smoke still an issue?

Russia recently announced a ban on smoking which is important since forty percent of their population smokes. Having traveled to the country several times I initially thought the high rate was due to the cold weather. The cold was the answer to the fur hats and the popularity of the stick shift vehicles. I asked why vodka was so popular and the answer was ‘vodka doesn’t freeze.’ However, the high smoking rate in Russia may be fueled by the low costs of cigarettes not the need for something warm in cold. The overall smoking rate in the U.S is 19% but Latinos had one of the lowest rate at 12.9%. Go ‘mi gente!’ This is significant given tobacco companies have targeted our community with English and Spanish language marketing. No one is immune. Blacks, who have a high smoking rate, are targeted in Ebony, and Jet magazine.

I had to wonder why we’re not healthier as a population. The list of health issues related to tobacco smoke is troubling. For example heart disease, cancer, and Black and Latino children suffer more from asthma, about 8%. The findings further suggested Puerto Rican children had a significantly higher rate of asthma than Mexican-American children. The culprits to this paradox may be pollution and secondhand smoke; it’s difficult to disaggregate the causes since both contribute.

Many states in the U.S. have implemented a smoking ban in restaurants and bars but not all states.  What if you don’t work in an office building, are you impacted by secondhand smoke?  Multi-unit housing such as condos or apartments is another concern especially for the people in big cities or who don’t have a free-standing home.  The state of California was the first state to ban smoking in public areas. I recently read about a California bill that prohibits smoking inside multi-unit residences which share walls, floor, ceilings or ventilations systems. This bill addresses unavoidable secondhand smoke for a person in these living situations. Like any new law concerns have been raised such as landlord responsibilities and enforcement.

Is secondhand smoke impacting you in the workplace or home? Is California on the right track?


Julia Perez is an electrical engineer and writer for Being Latino.


About Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is the youngest child of Ecuadorian immigrants. She has moved 29 times in her life, taking her on a journey from California to Bangalore, India, and New York City, where she recently earned a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and works as a Research Associate at New York University. An avid traveler, Adriana has collected experiences in four different continents and 16 different countries. But as a former high school English teacher, some of her fondest memories are those of her brilliant and brilliantly funny students in Brooklyn and Oakland. Adriana has contributed to several publications including the Daily News and, and is a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education. She earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in English Education at Columbia University, and currently serves on the board of Columbia’s Latino Alumni Association (LAACU). She enjoys scary movies with red vines, Sauvignon Blanc, and her Maltese dog, Napoleon.

To learn more about Adriana’s education consulting company, please visit

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

Speak Your Mind