Statement on Racism
The Association for Nonsmokers-Minnesota (ANSR) stands strongly with our staff, community partners, and all members of the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community, who are facing increased racism, xenophobic attacks, and bigotry. As an organization focused on tobacco prevention, public health policy change, and community education, ANSR recognizes our role in eliminating the health inequities that Asian American communities in Minnesota face including those due to decades of tobacco industry targeting. ANSR denounces the discrimination that has intensified during the pandemic and which is fueled by hateful political rhetoric.
We do not tolerate racism, xenophobia, or violence of any kind, and continue to review and ensure that our internal policies are equitable. We remain committed to working in solidarity with our partners to end racism, be anti-racist allies, and stop racially-motivated violence.
George Floyd Statement
ANSR recognizes that racism in America is a public health crisis. As a public health advocacy organization, we strive to make policy, environmental, and systems changes in our community to address the health inequities created by systemic racism. ANSR is deeply saddened by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, and we stand with Black Lives Matter movements across the country.
As an organization focused on tobacco prevention, public health policy change, and community education, ANSR recognizes our role in eliminating the health inequities that Black and Brown communities in Minnesota face due to decades of tobacco industry targeting of African Americans and other communities of color.
ANSR is committed to ensuring that health and equity are considered in every aspect and element of our work. These are not just words to us. They inform our daily actions, including continually striving to uplift voices of Black, Indigenous and people of color.
ANSR is reaffirming our dedication and responsibility to address systemic and structural racism. We hope that you will join us as we fight against racial discrimination and injustice.
Black and brown lives matter, and they always will.
Preventing tobacco use and exposure will help lessen the impact COVID-19 has on our state. The science is clear: smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke have an enormous impact on lung health. Tobacco use weakens the immune system and increases the risk for respiratory infections. Initial studies also show that vaping and e-cigarette use may cause increased inflammation in the lungs, potentially putting people who use e-cigarettes or vape at higher risk.
While we all adapt to the new reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, ANSR is working as hard as ever to reduce the human and economic costs of tobacco use in Minnesota. Our core commitments remain: reducing the number of young smokers and advocating for the rights and health of nonsmokers.
There has never been a better time to help prevent tobacco use and to support current tobacco users in their quit attempts. Doing so could save lives in the very near future. Free help is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or www.QuitPartnerMN.com.
The Association for Nonsmokers-MN (ANSR) is located in Saint Paul, MN, the traditional homeland of the Dakota people. We acknowledge that the land we currently occupy comes from a legacy of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and forced removal caused by U.S. law and policy applied to Indigenous communities. Despite centuries of colonial theft and violence, this is still Indigenous land. It will always be Indigenous land.
When referring to tobacco in our work, we are referring to commercial tobacco products and not tobacco used for sacred purposes by Indigenous communities.