Scout and I are in Atlanta for the yearly National Partners Meeting. With 70 National Partners in the room, todays agenda is really focusing on collaborations and priorities in tobacco prevention and control. Dr. Tim McAfee opened the morning with a “View Of The Future”.
- Sustaining National Tobacco Control Programs
- Deeming and Product Regulation
- National Media Campaigns
- Health Care System integration
- National Policy Goals
- Aggressively Addressing Health Disparities/Equity Issues
While Aggressively Addressing Health Disparities/Equity Issues was the last on his list, it was the first item he mentioned when addressing his “To Do” list. There was a lot of discussion this morning around reducing the stall, and focusing on Priority Populations, including low SES communities and LGBT people. We continue to thank CDC and some of our National Partners for continuing to include LGBT communities in their work. There is still a lot of work to be done and with the new findings from CDC’s National Adult Tobacco Survey finding that 32.8% of LGBT people nationally smoke cigarettes; 12.2% smoke cigars/cigarillos/small cigars; 6.1% and 38.5% report using any tobacco we have to continue to advocate for more collaboration, coordination, and partnerships to effectively reduce this growing health disparity affecting our communities. The data is real, LGBT people smoke cigarettes at rates 68% higher than the general population and that our overall tobacco use is 50% higher among our community.
I am happy that there is a lot of talk about disparity inclusion and look forward to the future as more efforts take place to ensure comprehensive inclusion of LGBT communities on the local, state and national level.