Snus Follow-up: What you can do to Prevent Tobacco Ads in LGBT Media!

Staff in Puerto Rico: Gustavo, Emilia & Scout
Network Staff

Network staff

Reporting on the Network Snus countermarketing response

Last January Steering Committee member Joseph Lee of UNC posted to the Networks discussion Listserv about a recent article placed in the Winston-Salem Journal titled: Reynolds targets quitters.

This article outlines the R.J. Reynolds (RJR) national marketing campaign of Camel SNUS as a potential New Year’s Resolution solution for smokers.  The article author interviewed David Howard, a Reynolds spokesman who said “It is the company’s first campaign aimed specifically at encouraging smokers to switch to Camel SNUS.”  Howard later says “A lot of adults make a decision to quit smoking this time of year, for those making that attempt, but wanting [sic] the pleasure of tobacco we’re saying ‘here’s and [sic] option.’”

Joseph’s post sparked a very lively discussion on the listserv and we found that many LGBT publications across the country started running the RJ Reynolds Camel SNUS ads. When you look at the ads you will notice Camel launched the Pleasure to Switch Challenge.

Due to the high volume of discussion, the Network convened a call to discuss this issue and plan next steps for communities to take action.

Here are some suggestions the group developed for your work:

1) Submit op-ed pieces, or letters to the editors sharing your options of the recent influx of tobacco advertising in your local publications.

2) Launch a campaign urging your local publications to not accept Tobacco Industry Advertising/funds.

  • Click here for a comprehensive resolution from which built off of the great work that came out of California.
  • Currently, Bob Gordon, Project Director for the California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership currently has a list and we know of five active LGBT publications that have a policy to refuse tobacco ads: Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco Bay Times, Curve Magazine, Outword (Sacramento), and
  • We know there are more, and Bob has offered to keep a list of publications on their site, Email him if you currently know of any publications that refuse tobacco ads, and when you get publications to sign on email us and we will be sure to publicize it widely. This project has and continues to do some amazing work.

3) Raise awareness of the tobacco industry efforts and launch counter marketing campaigns.

Jamie Delavan has actively worked on this issue and is starting to see some

Project Filter's Countermarketing Poster

great success. Jamie’s shop created and placed counter ads in the Boise Weekly, the local publication that had published the SNUS ad, which met very positive response from the agency. Click here to view their Ads.

4) Share your activities with us and with others, or ask for advise!

  • These are just a few examples of what groups have done and are doing to combat this issue. You can follow suit and we are here to help. Let’s mobilize our communities, and take a stand against tobacco industry marketing. If you launch a letter writing campaign, or work with your local papers to sign resolutions not to accept tobacco industry advertising or fund let us know so we can support you in your efforts and link you with others doing the same thing.
  • Also, don’t forget if you see ads, receive promo material, or see anything distributed by the tobacco industry make sure to document these examples by contacting
  • Finally, we’re hosting a Network call on Wednesday, April 13th at 3pm EST for folks to share and ask for advice on their local strategies. Please register by clicking this link and entering your info so we can contact you with details and join us then!

EDIT: You may find a new Network video useful. It’s a video, with stats of how the tobacco industry has targetted the LGBT community over the years. This may be something tangible, and interesting, to share with your LGBT colleagues and media groups in an interactive, compelling way:

Special thanks to:

Naphtali Offen, Joseph Lee, JamieLou Delavan, Bob Gordon, Bill Snook, Francisco Michel, Robin Hobart, Johnn Young, Trudie Jackson, Sasha Kaufmann, Dean Andersen, Olivia Kaski

Published by Emilia Dunham, MPP, MBA

Emilia Dunham is currently a Project Manager at MassHealth/Department of Public Health, and formerly the Project Manager of the Life Skills project at The Fenway Institute, an HIV intervention study for young transgender women. Emilia worked at Fenway for 7 years, first as a Quality Control and Regulatory Assistant mainly involved with biomedical HIV prevention trials, before serving as the Program Associate for The Network for LGBT Health Equity, a network instrumental in many national LGBT health policy improvements. She is also involved with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, serving as a Steering Committee member and the Policy Committee Co-Chair, an organization largely responsible for the recent passage of the Trans Rights Bill. Additionally she serves as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, Co-Chair of the Recommendations Committee. Emilia received a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. There she served as President of the LGBTQ student group where she planned programs such as Pride Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and AIDS Week. In addition, she advocated for LGBTQ inclusive policies and programming on campus such as a Gender Neutral Housing program, an LGBTQ Center and the expansion of Women’s Studies to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Emilia recently earned a Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration in health policy and management from the Brandeis Heller School School for Social Policy and Management.

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