LTC at NAP’s Condom Fashion Show

LTC in redThis Thursday, June 27th, 2013 at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Omaha, Latinas, Tabaco, y Cáncer will be participating in the Project Condom Fashion Show

The Project Condom Fashion Show is an entertaining and educational event featuring fashion designs made with condoms to promote safer sex and HIV awareness. The Project Condom Fashion Show is a benefit that aims to raise funds towards Nebraska AIDS Project’s client services and education programs.

Latinas, Tabaco, y Cáncer (LTC) is a community-based holistic health promotion program fighting tobacco, preventing cancer, and supporting mental well-being through education, social support, and advocacy. The group’s goals are to: (1) Increase personal and family healthy decision-making; (2) Increase community capacity for positive social change; and (3) Increase overall well-being by promoting healthy lifestyles as individual women, wives, mothers, and engaged community members. LTC is led by the UNMC Center for Reducing Health Disparities’ Triple A team: Athena Ramos, Antonia Correa, and Ariss Rogel Mendoza, and is supported by the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC).

LTC’s decision to participate in the Condom Fashion Show stems from the women’s dedication to educate about tobacco awareness; it recognizes that the LGBT community has extreme rates of tobacco use and wants to do what it can to build awareness as a means to prevent use. In the LGBT community smoking rates are almost 70% higher than the general population. And for this reason LTC members have come together with the help of volunteers in the community, which include: Designer- Eddiy Hilliard, a community nonprofit volunteer and professional hairstylist at 1Drakeplace; Model- Tygra Slarri, this year’s Smokeless Diva and full advocate for tobacco free lifestyles and environments; Volunteer-Dustin Moorehead, event designer and co-owner of Creating Atmosphere; and Volunteer- Joao de Brito a community activist and advocate for social equality and diversity.

We are excited to introduce our design in the Project Condom Fashion Show which is set out to entertain and educate. In the same fashion, LTC and MOTAC want to educate about the dangers that tobacco causes to not just our health, but also our environment. We are particularly building awareness on the damage that our Omaha Parks endure with harmful cigarette litter, the most littered item on the planet, and the role modeling that this adult habit causes to influence youth attitudes towards socially accepting tobacco use.

Smokeless Diva will appear on the runway as a tree, representing our park’s mother nature. As she comes down she will look lively and vibrant, but at closer inspection you will see the dark side that our mother nature experiences by the litter and damage that tobacco causes her.

To have a real visual, we hope you can make it out on Thursday night at the Magnolia Hotel, located downtown at 1615 Howard Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68102.

Following are entry details:

$15 – General Admission
$35 – Reserved Seating
$100 – VIP Pass – includes cocktails and hors d’oeurves during the event!

Doors open at 6:30p
Show starts at 7:30p

To view examples of what this event is like, please check out VIDEOS and PICTURES from past shows!!

We hope you can come support us!

Smokeless Diva 2013

tygra-lungsIf you missed the Smokeless Diva 2013 Drag Pageant here is your chance to learn more and prepare for the next time to see our Diva in action. The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Center for Reducing Health Disparities (UNMC CRHD) presented its very first drag pageant, “Smokeless Diva,” at Flixx Lounge on April 13, 2013.  The show was designed to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco and secondhand smoke within the LGBT community, where research shows that use rates are almost double that of the general population across the United States.

Over 400,000 people in the United States die every year from tobacco-related diseases, and tobacco use and secondhand smoke do not discriminate against their victims.  The American Cancer Society estimates that over 30,000 LGBT people die each year from tobacco-related diseases. Locally in Nebraska, through the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative’ s Midlands LGBT Needs Assessment Community Report in 2011, 46.4% of LGBT respondents had smoked 100 cigarettes in their life.

CRHD along with Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC) and Latinas, Tabaco, y Cáncer (LTC) help find and create solutions to creating an Omaha that is healthier and tobacco-free across all population groups.  We are able to provide technical assistance for creating tobacco-free environments such as smoke-free apartments and tobacco-free business policies, making it healthier for all of us to be in a space where smoking is not the norm but a known and avoidable cause of preventable death.

Through the “Smokeless Diva” pageant, we were able to reach out and promote healthier choices by demonstrating  that being smoke-free or smoke-less is a lot more glamorous and fun than being tied down to a cig.

What better way to inform people about the dangers of tobacco use than an animated and creative pageant?  In order to afford an appealing prize for the winner, the LTC LGBT subgroup held a tamale sale where they sold close to 35 dozen tamales.  And so, our Diva took home a sash and crown, roses, and a cash price of $150.  Although these are humble beginnings for a pageant, it brought forth a most stunning contestant and now winner, Tygra Slaríí.

Everyone involved in the planning of the pageant could not imagine what type of Diva this pageant would bring and how comfortable she would be in talking about tobacco when smoking is so ingrained into the LGBT community, but we were pleasantly surprised when Tygra took to the stage. There were four categories within the pageant, two of which are not necessarily often done, an interview and a creative costume wear.  During the creative costume category of the pageant, contestants were asked to design an outfit that reflected the insides of a smoker.  Tygra appeared in a beautifully fitted wedding dress, and on her hands she held a bouquet.  Some people were a bit confused and frankly did not understand her outfit, but then she blew into her bouquet and a bunch of material floated in the air which appeared like smoke. Tygra made an elegant turn and there it was…the back of the dress was black and tarred with cigarette boxes attached to it. The dress was backless, where black lungs were drawn on and patched with white tape to resemble sick lungs. What creativity! We thought that the highlight of the night, that is until she spoke to the audience during the interview. When asked why she was competing, Tygra revealed that she desired the title of ‘Smokeless Diva’ because she wanted to make a difference for people in her community; she did not want others to suffer the fate of her father who had died of lung cancer a few years prior.  With the support of her family, Tygra had entered the drag queen world and has a great appreciation of them; she wants to do her part to bring awareness to the community on the silent killer that took one of her champions.

The night was filled with laughter, witty banter from the Emcees, and wonderful performers and rock star drag queens.  Most of all it was full of useful information regarding tobacco.   Miss Smokeless Diva accepted her title with such elegance and glamour. Tygra entered her reign as Smokeless Diva very seriously where during her victory show, Tygra organized a substance abuse show with drag performers to promote prevention and awareness. The show was a remarkable display of talent and creativity as some performers depicted drug overdosing, heroin, cocaine and others.  Tygra’s reign continues, so if you would like to support her CRHD/MOTAC/ and LTC as well as
other projects/events like these, please visit


Health Profile of Nebraska’s Latino Population – Report Available

Health Profile coverThe University of Nebraska Medical Center’s (UNMC) Center for Reducing Health Disparities together with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) Office of Latino and Latin American Studies (OLLAS), have released a report and policy brief describing the serious health problems facing the growing Latino and immigrant populations in Nebraska and Iowa, particularly the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area.

The Health Profile Report focuses on the overall health disparities facing the Latino population, which grew by nearly 93 percent between 2000 and 2010 in Nebraska.  Below are some of the highlights of the report.

Nebraska Latino Health Status Highlights:

  • Over 35% of Hispanic/Latino adults aged 18 to 64 years old do not have a personal physician.
  • One quarter of Hispanics/Latinos rated their health status as either “fair” or “poor”.16
  • Almost one third of the Hispanic/Latino population is uninsured.[1]
  • Almost one quarter of Latinas received inadequate prenatal care.[2]
  • Close to 10% of Hispanic/Latino adults surveyed through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2006 to 2010 had more than 10 days in the past month where they mentally did not feel well.18  Almost a quarter of Latino youth felt sad and hopeless during the past year.[3]  About 14% of Hispanics/Latinos report that they never get any emotional support.[4]
  • Obesity, measured by a level of BMI at 30 or above, was higher for Hispanics/Latinos than for other groups.
  • More than one-third of Hispanics/Latinos have no exercise outside of work. [5]
  • The overall STD rate for Hispanics/Latinos was nearly three times the rate for Whites.[6]  Also, Latinos bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic, with a mortality rate that was 3 times that of Whites.
  • The teen birth rate for Latina girls was 4.9 times the rate of White girls.
  • Hispanic/Latino students were more likely to smoke cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days than their White peers.[7]

Given these complex challenges, the solutions to addressing health disparities among Hispanics/Latinos require comprehensive, inter-sectoral, multi-level, community-wide interventions and policy changes that address not only health, but also the social determinants of health – the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the healthcare systems in place to deal with illness.[12]  Policies across sectors such as education, economic development, housing, immigration, public safety, and healthcare can directly or indirectly impact disparate populations, including Latinos.  Efforts to revitalize poor neighborhoods, improve the quality of schools and access to public services, guarantee access to healthy foods, and ensure culturally-competent community services and equitable policies that link Latinos to economic opportunities are promising strategies that can significantly improve the health of Latino communities in Nebraska and across the country.  Indeed, ending racial and ethnic health disparities is a major challenge—but one that can be met if the research, public health practices, education and training, government, outreach, and service sectors work together

[1] U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey.

[2] Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2010.

[3] Nebraska Youth Risk Behavior Survey. 2010 Survey Results.  Retrieved on December 19, 2012 from

[4] Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2006-2010.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Nebraska DHHS STD program, 2006-2010.

[7] Nebraska Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 2011.

[8] Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Proyecto HEAL.

[9] Escarce JJ, Morales LS, Rumbaut RG. The Health Status and Health Behaviors of Hispanics. In: National Research Council (US) Panel on Hispanics in the United States; Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 9. Available from: Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.  National Research Council (US) Panel on Hispanics in the United States; Tienda M, Mitchell F, editors. Hispanics and the Future of America. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.

[10] Ibid.

[11] United Way of the Midlands. (2003). Profile of Latino Youth.

[12] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved on January 9, 2013 from