I conclude exactly where I started: the tobacco industry specifically targeted the African-American community for their product. They flooded the African-American community with advertisements and cigarettes. They promoted a more addicting drug in the African-American community. As a result more African-American adults smoke, more are addicted, and more have greater illness due to smoking. Any settlement with tobacco companies must address the needs of the adult African-American community. The proposed settlement and the enacting legislation are inadequate; they leave the adult African-American community at the mercy of the tobacco companies with little redress for the specific harm that has already occurred and will continue to occur. The nation's minority communities have had a disproportionate portion of illness and death from cigarettes, and any equitable settlement must address their needs specifically. The restructuring of the tobacco settlement must include specifically identifying as a priority the (1) the funding of culturally specific cessation programs targeted toward African-Americans; (2) the funding of biomedical research specifically addressing the issues of African-American's addiction and dependence; (3) the funding of African-American events historically supported by tobacco industries; (4) the limiting of immunity to information disclosed prior to the enactment of any legislation; and most importantly, (5) the establishment of a Tobacco Injury Compensation Fund for addicted smokers.
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