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The Indiana Black Expo is issuing a call to action tonight for African American adults and youth in Indiana to stop smoking. It’s part of the Matters of the Heart campaign.

“They had him in an induced coma, he had suffered a massive stroke, brain bleed and the next few hours he had a second and we were taking him off life support,” said Yulonda Winfield.

Yulonda’s husband died two years ago after suffering a stroke as the result of years of smoking. In just one day she became a widow and a single mom.

“His thing was like I’m going to die of something which was kind of a joke of his but that ended up taking his life,” Yulonda said.

Joining the IBE Matters of the Heart campaign has been part of the healing journey for her and her son Xavier who was with his father when he had a stroke.

“It’s kind of like I lost a friend. He used to be the one, he used to take me everywhere, we used to have fun together have guys’ nights and when he died that kind of took that part of my heart and my soul away from me,” Xavier said.

This family wants to use this campaign to show people how this impacted their lives and to promote resources like the 1-800-QUIT-NOW helpline, especially in the African American community. According to the Centers for Disease Control black people are more likely to die from smoke related illnesses and tobacco companies advertise more in those communities.

“To make that impact, to reach others in the community to let them know this is a real thing that we need to be focused and to show others you too can stop and also providing those resources available,” Indiana Black Expo Tobacco Cessation leader, Edward Rogers said.

The 1-800-QUIT-NOW line is free to Hoosiers 18 and older. To learn more about the Matters of the Heart campaign click here.