The Take Down: Dr. Elena Rios | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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In Conversation with Dr. Elena Rios

For decades, the tobacco industry has targeted Hispanic communities and youth in the U.S. through predatory marketing tactics. As we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ Portia Reddick White interviewed Dr. Elena Rios, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), about Big Tobacco’s impact on Hispanic communities and what can be done to reduce tobacco use.

Representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians in the U.S., NHMA is dedicated to empowering Hispanic physicians to be leaders who will help eliminate health disparities and improve the health of Hispanics. Throughout her career and continuing at NHMA, Dr. Rios has been a tremendous advocate for the health and wellness of Hispanics, women and other underserved populations.

Dr. Rios discusses a wide range of topics – including the tobacco industry's targeting of Hispanic communities, the importance of developing culturally sensitive approaches to tobacco prevention efforts, and the role of family and community in helping Hispanic tobacco users quit.

[The tobacco industry] has targeted our community events – cultural events – where families come together to celebrate… It’s just nonstop, trying to include a sense of assimilation into western society that it would be cool to smoke.