Big Tobacco in the LGBT Community

LGBT flagRecent data shows that 1 in 5 people smoke in the U.S. In the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community smoking rates are almost 70% higher than the general population, killing almost 30,000 LGBT persons every year. But yet, why is it that smoking is still a fad? A research marketing company named Winston Stuart Associates conducted a focus group study in Sacramento and San Francisco which documented why LGBT participants believed smoking prevalence to be high within their communities.  Here’s some of their findings:

  • There is more stress, and cigarettes are a great stress reliever.
  • LGBT people have been told “no” for a long time and smoking is a legal form of rebellion.
  • LGBT people go out at bars/clubs, and cigarettes fit in with the bar scene.

There is a lot to be said about the type of stressors we each go through day to day, but we never really experience what it would be like to outrightly be denied certain rights. Therefore,stressors would be much higher in a population that undergoes this type of scrutiny and discrimination. The warmth and welcome that a cigarette would have to someone that is seeking acceptance, would be a readily available release of the pressures one would experience.

The marketing that has been used by tobacco companies, have been very smart and decisive in the LGBT community. For example there is one ad from American Spirit cigarettes that reads: “Free. to speak. to choose. to marry. to participate. to be. to disagree. to inhale. to believe. to love.  to live. it’s all good.”  This type of messaging pulls on emotions of the LGBT community to market their deadly product.

Learn more about tobacco control efforts in the LGBT community through our partner, the LGBT Network for Health Equity.

Big Tobacco is an industry that builds consumer loyalty through lies and deception.  Learn more about tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship at http://www.who.int/campaigns/no-tobacco-day/2013/brochure/en/index.html.

Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!

Rent Smoke Free

Rent-transDid you know that according to the Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act smoking is not allowed inside of common areas and any general shared areas within rental buildings? Many people think that the policy only applies to business, like restaurants, where smoking is prohibited, but don’t realize that their apartment buildings common areas are also covered. Some common areas include hallways, laundry rooms, and lobbies.

Rent Smoke-Free is an important initiative that the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC) began about 5 years ago to increase the number of smoke-free housing options available. Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) has also joined the effort and has partnered with MOTAC to help support landlords and inform tenants on the benefits of renting smoke-free. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and there is no way to stop secondhand smoke from traveling from one unit to another once someone starts smoking inside an apartment building. Reports from the Center for Disease Control show that children are especially vulnerable to the health effects of secondhand smoke because of their developing bodies and lungs, and children that are exposed to secondhand smoke are increasingly more susceptible to asthma, ear infections, decreased reading and math scores, and higher levels of behavioral problems.  Through MOTAC and DCHD efforts materials are provided to landlords and tenants, some of which include: window clings, manuals on going smoke-free and its benefits, cigarette receptacles for designated smoking areas as an alternative to smoking inside, and free no smoking signage.

What are your thoughts concerning renting smoke-free living? Does smoking in apartment buildings affect you?

Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!

Tobacco’s Toll in Nebraska

Today is World No Tobacco Day!  Here’s some information to get you started….Did you know that:

  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, imposing a huge toll on health, lives and dollars on families, businesses and government.
  • Tobacco kills more than 400,000 people annually – more than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined.
  • Tobacco costs the U.S. more than $96 billion in health care expenditures and $97 billion in lost productivity each year.
  • While the United States has made major progress against tobacco use, one in five Americans still smokes, and about 4,000 kids try their first cigarette each day.

Now let’s take it to Nebraska….Here’s some data to get you thinking about the consequences of tobacco right here in our state.

The Toll of Tobacco in Nebraska

High school students who smoke 15.0% (15,600)
Male high school students who use smokeless or spit tobacco 10.2% (females use much lower)
Kids (under 18) who become new daily smokers each year 2,000
Kids exposed to secondhand smoke at home 96,000
Packs of cigarettes bought or smoked by kids each year 3.9 million
Adults in Nebraska who smoke* 20.0% (276,500)

*Due to changes in CDC’s methodology, the 2011 adult smoking rate cannot be compared to adult smoking data from previous years.

 U.S. National Data (2011)

High school smoking rate: 18.1%
Male high school students who use smokeless tobacco: 12.8%
Adult smoking rate 19.0%

 Deaths in Nebraska from Smoking

Adults who die each year from their own smoking 2,200
Kids now under 18 and alive in Nebraska who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking 36,000

Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined — and thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes — such as fires caused by smoking (more than 1,000 deaths/year nationwide) and smokeless tobacco use.

Smoking-Caused Monetary Costs in Nebraska

Annual health care costs in Nebraska directly caused by smoking $537 million
Portion covered by the state Medicaid program $134 million
Residents’ state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures $573 per household
Smoking-caused productivity losses in Nebraska $500 million

Amounts do not include health costs caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, smoking-caused fires, smokeless tobacco use, or cigar and pipe smoking. Tobacco use also imposes additional costs such as workplace productivity losses and damage to property.

Tobacco Industry Influence in Nebraska

Annual tobacco industry marketing expenditures nationwide $8.5 billion
Estimated portion spent for Nebraska marketing each year $54.0 million

Published research studies have found that kids are twice as sensitive to tobacco advertising than adults and are more likely to be influenced to smoke by cigarette marketing than by peer pressure. One-third of underage experimentation with smoking is attributable to tobacco company advertising.

Join us in participating in the dialogue about World No Tobacco Day! Talk about it and Share it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD @MOTACOmaha using hashtag: #WNTD2013!

 

SOURCE: http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/nebraska