It’s the 10th Annual LGBT Health Awareness Week (March 25-March 29, 2013)! This week promotes the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender individuals and other sexual and gender minorities. Many organizations around the country are encouraging the community to take a deeper look at tobacco use and quit smoking.
There is a higher prevalence of smoking in the LGBT community. According to a report released by the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network and the Fenway Institute in 2005, LGBT individuals are 40-70 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes than non-LGBT individuals. The same report attributes the increased use within the community to “higher levels of social stress, frequent patronage of bars and clubs, higher rates of alcohol and drug use, and direct targeting of LGBT consumers by the tobacco industry.” A local survey conducted by the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative in 2011 found that 26.2% of the sample reported smoking cigarettes everyday or some days, but nearly half of the sample (46.4%) had smoked more than 5 packs in their life. Additionally, about 1 in 5 smokers in this study reported an attempt at quitting smoking in the last 12 months.
LGBT adolescents are also of particular concern. A recent national study found that 35 percent of adolescent males and 45 percent of adolescent females who reported same-sex attraction or behavior smoked, compared with 29 percent of non-LGBT adolescents. In a 2007 study of LGBT youth, those who smoked told researchers they believe cigarettes add to a facade of toughness that decreases bullying and also act as easy ice breakers.
National LGBT Health Week is organized by the National Coalition for LGBT Health. This year’s campaign, titled “Come Out For Health,” focuses on four core principles: empowering consumers to approach their health care providers concerning their sexual orientation and gender identity; directing their providers on how to be culturally competent and sensitive to the needs of the LGBT community; creating inclusive policy making by getting people involved with government; and reaching out to a variety of communities to raise awareness about the health needs of the LGBT individuals.
For more information or to request a presentation on LGBT tobacco use and prevention initiatives in Douglas County, please contact Diana Rogel-Mendoza at (402) 559-9662 or via email at email@example.com.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in our online social media information and advocacy project for World No Tobacco Day (WNTD)! As part of this project, the Center was able to reach more than 600 people through:
- 5 Blog posts; 22 comments
- 94 Facebook posts; 10 new Fans to the Center page
- 77 Tweets
Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600,000 are people exposed to second-hand smoke. Unless we act, it will kill up to 8 million people by 2030, of which more than 80% will live in low- and middle-income countries. Every year, World No Tobacco Day (May 31), is geared to be a 24-hour abstinence from tobacco and all its products is encouraged throughout the world. WNTD also hopes to draw attention to widespread tobacco use, the health hazards that stem from it, and this year the tobacco industry’s interference.
We hope that this is just the beginning and that everyone will continue to be involved in the tobacco control movement!
In a briefing for Wall Street analysts last month, Family Dollar executives said they plan to begin selling tobacco for the first time in the company’s 53-year history. The North Carolina-based discount chain is in more than 7,000 neighborhoods nationwide. Smoking in the United States increasingly has become concentrated among lower income populations, a group who smokes at a higher rate than the population as a whole – and who suffers disproportionately from smoking-caused diseases. The smoking rate among adults living below the poverty level is 28.9 percent, compared with 18.3 percent for adults living above the poverty level, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lower-income populations are also more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke.
Tobacco is not an equal opportunity killer. For years, tobacco products have been disproportionately marketed to low socio-economic and minority youth and adults, and evidence has clearly shown that exposure to tobacco advertising can lead to youth smoking initiation. The prevalence of current smoking is greatest among adults with working class jobs, low educational levels, low income, and those who are unemployed; groups that comprise the very communities Family Dollar serves. Making tobacco products more broadly available will only exacerbate the risks to those communities already hardest hit by tobacco use and related diseases.
Since today is World No Tobacco Day, we encourage you to get involved and tell the convenience store chain to reverse their decision to sell tobacco products in stores nationwide. Talk about it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD using hashtag: #WNTD2012!
Tobacco companies spend the bulk of their marketing money at the retail stores with price discounts, prime product placement to attract buyers, and of course, advertisements. In 2008, of the $9.9 billion spent by cigarette companies on overall promotions, $9.2 billion, or 92 percent, was spent on point of sale advertisements, price discounts, promotional allowances, or special deals such as buy-one-get-one-free offers.
The increasing pervasiveness of tobacco promotion in retail outlets has been well documented. A 2008 study in Tobacco Control found that in California, the number of in-store cigarette advertisements increased from 22.7 to 24.9 between 2002 and 2005. An earlier study of California stores found that nearly 50 percent of the tobacco retailers had tobacco ads at young kids’ eye level (three feet or lower), and 23 percent had cigarette product displays within six inches of candy.
The issue of advertising in retail outlets is important because 75 percent of teens visit a convenience store at least once a week and point-of-purchase advertising and displays have been found to increase average tobacco sales by 12 percent. A study published in the May 2007 issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, concluded that the more cigarette marketing teens are exposed to in retail stores, the more likely they are to smoke, and that restricting these retail marketing practices would reduce youth smoking.
Tobacco companies are well aware of the impact of their marketing. Now so are you. Talk about it. Leave us a comment, Facebook us, or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD using hashtag: #WNTD2012!
Source: The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0156.pdf
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.
|High school students who smoke
|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
|Kids exposed to secondhand smoke at home
|Packs of cigarettes bought or smoked by kids each year
|Adults in Nebraska who smoke
|Adults who die each year from their own smoking
|Kids now under 18 and alive in Nebraska who will ultimately die prematurely from smoking
|Annual health care costs in Nebraska directly caused by smoking
|Portion covered by the state Medicaid program
|Residents’ state & federal tax burden from smoking-caused government expenditures
||$573 per household
|Smoking-caused productivity losses in Nebraska
|Annual tobacco industry marketing expenditures nationwide
|Estimated portion spent for Nebraska marketing each year
What do you think about this? Leave us a comment or Tweet us @UNMCCRHD using hashtag #WNTD2012.
Source: The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/