INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Data shows Latino men are more likely to die from lung cancer than any other cancer and local agencies are teaming up to change that.
Smoke Free Indy is working with the Indiana Latino Institute to not only get people to stop smoking, but from ever starting. Most smokers start before they are 18 and if someone hasn’t started smoking by 25, chances are they never will.
“Prevention is definitely our priority,” said Amanda Szure with the Indiana Latino Institute. “With the younger generations we’re seeing vaping more than your traditional smoking.”
Minorities across the board face challenges when it come getting medical help to be diagnosed or get treatment, with marketing often targeting minority and lower incomes residents.
“There may be less access to healthcare or quality healthcare among the Latino community depending on where they live and of course depending on immigration status,” Szure said.
Research from the American Lung Association shows compared to other minority racial groups Latinos are least likely to get treatment when they are diagnosed with lung cancer.
“It’s not just in Latino men, it’s also other communities of color,” said Andi Cox with Smoke Free Indy. “LGBTQ, those dealing with mental health disorders, those dealing with substance use disorders.”
Although chances of getting cancer goes up at 50 years old, Smoke Free Indy and the ILI are taking steps to start prevention efforts sooner.
“I think that’s the importance of Smoke Free Indy current reach those groups that have been marginalized,” Cox said.