Scholarship Opportunity

Accepting Student Scholarship Applications for SRNT Conference!

Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Not many of us don’t end up going to one of the conferences that has a lot of valuable information about tobacco, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), because some of it is pretty dry science — but there’s a lot of good information there.  So to help make sure we get the latest news without having to sit thru all the presentations…. the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network would like to announce its 2nd annual Blogging Scholarship to SRNT!  If you think you’d be a good person to go to SRNT, and blog about all the latest and greatest you hear about so we can all feel the burn, then — come on down. 

The Network will pay your way, guarantee you as much caffeine as you need, and even set you up with some experienced researchers to kinda give you the inside track while you’re there.  All you have to do is keep a daily blog of the happenings, amuse us, inform us, just don’t bore us!  Check out what last year’s recipient did!

 If you think you have what it takes you must apply…

This opportunity is open to STUDENTS ONLY… and of course people from traditionally underrepresented populations are triply encouraged to apply. All scholarship applications will be reviewed by a tiny panel of judges to determine this years recipient. 

Applications are being accepted for only a couple days! You have until January 27th, 5 pm EST.  So hurry up already!

SRNT will be held in Baltimore MD, Feb 25-27.

How to apply?  Send an email  telling us in a BRIEF Paragraph or so, why you are the best person to blog your heart out from SRNT, and the best person to give anyone interested in LGBT tobacco all the inside dope. Excessively long application emails will be read last. Please put BLOGGING SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION in your subject line.

social media

Network to Present @ Getting the e-Word OUT: Using Social Media to Reach LGBT Communities

Getting The e-Word OUT
Using Social Media To Reach The LGBT Community
Monday February 8, 2010   2:00 – 5:00 PM
Chicago Department of Health
333 South State Street, 2nd Floor Boardroom, Chicago, IL 60626

Facebook •  Twitter •  Myspace •  Youtube •  Ning •  Blog •  Tweet

Social Media is all the talk these days…could it improve your program?

Getting the e-Word OUT symposium will help agencies and organizations serving the LGBT communty understand how to plan, staff and fund social media tools for programs. Not a technical discussion, but a symposium on how organizations can get results using social media.
Individuals with technical skills will improve their business planning skills, those with no technical skills will find out what skills they will need to recruit.

Who Should Attend?

  • Program Managers
  • Agency directors
  • Study coordinators
  • Public information staff
  • LGBT community organizations
  • Interested community members

What the Symposium Will Cover:

  • How do you plan for and implement a social media component in a program?
  • What about outside talent? What about costs?
  • Is there a difference between the tools?
  • What media do my clients subscribe to?
  • What have others done?

Featured Presenters:

  • Gustavo Torrez, Program Manager, National LGBT Tobacco Control Network
  • Gordon Mayer, Vice President, Community Media Workshop, Columbia College
  • Christine Cupaiuolo, Social Media Consultant
  • Lovette Ajayi, The Red Pump Project for HIV Awareness
  • Jim Pickett, Director of Advocacy AIDS Foundation of Chicago & founder of LifeLube site/blog for Gay Men’s Health
  • Simone Koehlinger, Director, Office of LGBT Health, Chicago Department of Public Health

Symposium :

The symposium begins with a panel discussion on best strategies to develop social media components for programs followed by actual case study presentations. Attendees then get to participate – asking questions, talking about their experiences and discussing the information presented.

For those who always thought they ought to be in pictures, know that the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network will video tape the entire symposium for netcast as part of the Network’s soon to be released national training program on social media. So be sure to dress for stardom!

Agenda:

  • 1:30 – Registration Opens
  • 2:00 – 2:20 PM Introductions & Welcome – Pamela McCann
  • 2:20 – 2:35 Keynote Address – Gustavo Torrez, Program Manager, National LGBT Tobacco Control Network
  • 2:30 – 3:30 PM Panel Presentation on Social Media Tools and Strategies, moderated by Gordon Mayer
  • 3:30 – 4:00 PM Case Studies:
    ~Strategies for a Nation-wide Smoking Cessation Initiative – Gustavo Torrez
    ~Developing Content for a Collaborative Website – Simone Koehlinger
  • 4:00 – 5:00 Participant Discussion & Presenters’ Closing Remarks

Sponsored by

  • Office of LGBT Health & Office of Substance Abuse and Tobacco Control Programs, Chicago Department of Public Health
  • National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

To Pre-Register for this symposium or any other questions or comments, please contact: Pamela McCann at mccann_pamela@cdph.org or 312-745-1214.

Getting The e-Word OUT is a production of the Office of LGBT Health and the Office of Substance Abuse and Tobacco Control Programs at the Chicago Department of Public Health in collaboration with the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

Please feel free to distribute!  For promotional flyer please visit: http://tinyurl.com/yc8a5jf.

Uncategorized

Frontline News: We Kicked the Grim Reaper’s Butt Out of the Castro!

The network is launching a new series on our blog titled “Frontline News.” We hope to bring stories of tobacco control efforts done to help close the tobacco disparities gap.  Have a tale or event you want to share? Shoot us a line and lets get your success out there! But for now…take it away, Brian!

On November 19th, 2009, the day of the Great American Smokeout  (and the Gay American Smokeout), our project, BUTT OUT! held an event we called “Kick the Grim Reaper’s Butt Out of the Castro!”  48 people came out to participate as we thanked the 19 LGBT-serving organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area that have adopted tobacco-free funding policies for saying NO to Big Tobacco. We listened to a wonderful speech from State Senator Mark Leno, and pursued a ten foot tall stilt walker dressed as the Grim Reaper up and down the streets of the Castro and ultimately out of the neighborhood.

I have been asked to share some of the background of and planning for this event, in case people in other communities would like to have a “Grim Reaper event” of their own.
Project Components and Inspiration:
The Grim Reaper represents the lives lost to big tobacco

The most important components of our project’s work plan were (and continue to be) convincing LGBT-serving organizations to adopt written policies declaring that they will not accept funding from tobacco companies, and promoting those policy adoptions that say no to big tobacco so the community becomes aware that tobacco is an LGBT issue and that our leaders are doing something about it.  We didn’t want to just do a press release promoting an “awards dinner”.  For one thing, we were seriously concerned that we wouldn’t get anyone to show up, for another we wanted to spend as little money as possible, and lastly we wanted to do something different that would capture people’s attention.

Our inspiration came from a recent PSA in California that featured a Grim Reaper who removes the cloak to reveal a young woman who passes out free cigarettes for tobacco companies.  Our initial idea was for the five BUTT OUT! project advocates and I to dress as Grim Reapers and silently picket the Castro, but ultimately we decided we would be more likely to get media attention if we hired a professional stilt walker to dress as the Grim Reaper and recruited a crowd of at least 30 people to taunt him and chase him out of the neighborhood.

Publicity :
We hoped having the event on the day of the Great American Smokeout – a day when people all over the country quit smoking for a day – would inspire local media to look for local stories on that theme.  We ran small ads in the gay papers that came out the day of the event, paid for with additional media money provided by our funders – San Francisco Tobacco Free Project –– two of their staff also came to the event, and a few hours before the event began we passed out flyers in the neighborhood.We also knew that the news editor from one of the local gay papers always writes a short piece about what local LGBT tobacco projects are doing for the “Gay American Smokeout.” My husband, Ted Guggenheim, and I both have contacts at the other local gay paper that we often see at local events, so Ted and I began a campaign to convince them to come, which resulted in a great article in the Bay Times.

Brian Davis, Senator Mark Leno and event attendees rally to keep Big Tobacco out of the Castro

I also have  Ted to thank for recruiting Senator Leno to come to the event.  Since BUTT OUT! works with organizations and not elected officials, we chose not to make a concerted effort to recruit local LGBT elected officials  (all of whom have pledged not to accept tobacco donations).  However, Ted passed on the Evite I created for the event to his extensive Facebook friend list (which includes Mark Leno) and the next thing we knew Senator Leno’s office was contacting me asking if he could attend.  Needless to say I was thrilled!

The rest was just putting in the time to get people there and take care of all of the details. I begged everyone at BUTT OUT’s home organization, Breathe California (five total) to come, in addition to anyone I knew who cared about tobacco, including former project advocates and local staff of the American Cancer Society, which began the Great American Smokeout 22 years ago (two of whom came). I also reached out to my contacts at the organizations that had adopted tobacco-free funding policies, asking them to come and receive our thanks (five came), Lastly, the project advocates and I emailed and called each of our friends that we thought might come if we asked, letting them know that this was very important to us, and also a fun way to make a difference.  We called to remind the “yes’s and maybe’s” a week before and again two days before the day of the event.

The Big Day:
Through Craigslist, I found a stilt walker, who works for Boylesque, a local queer performance troupe.  We tried to make the event more festive with the decision to ask everyone to wear skull makeup or a mask, to represent those LGBT community members who have died from tobacco.  We got a few people to volunteer to do makeup and I picked up a few cheap masks before Halloween.  Because we feared that the stilt walker, masks and all might freak out the police, we contacted them to make sure they knew about it.  They were fine with everything as long as we didn’t block traffic and kept the volume low on our borrowed bullhorn.  We wrote chants (“Hey  Hey! Ho Ho! Big Tobacco’s Got to Go!”) and I scripted out virtually the entire evening, choosing speakers that could speak from personal experience about tobacco’s impact on their lives. Check out the great video an event participant from Breathe California produced!

We did have one scare.  A few days beforehand the weather reports predicted that our event would be drenched in rain and heavy wind (not good for a stilt walker or turnout).  Fortunately, the rain held off, but we did have a contingency plan, which was that we would move the rally underneath the broad overhang of the Castro Theatre and cut the marching though the streets short.  We are thinking that if we do this again in the future we might move it to late May (when it doesn’t rain in California) to coincide with World No Tobacco Day.

I’ve probably already written more than you wanted to know, but just in case I didn’t, feel free to contact me.

-Brian Davis
BUTT OUT Project Coordinator and
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Specialis

Creating Change 2010 · Scholarship Opportunity

Network to Give Out Scholarships for Creating Change 2010!

SCHOLARSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT- CREATING CHANGE CONFERENCE 2010
February 4-7, 2010
Dallas, TX

APPLICATION DUE: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 by 5pm EST

Once again, the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network is looking to send a few fellow advocates to participate in another great training, networking, and skill building opportunity. We are currently offering approximately 5 Scholarships to the Creating Change Conference.

What is Creating Change you might ask?

Creating Change is the one and only time each year that more than 2,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates from every corner of the country converge to strategize, socialize and mobilize for LGBT equality. It features top-level trainings, workshops, networking sessions and action-planning with our movement’s best thinkers and brightest innovators — oh yeah, there’s also tons of opportunities for socializing, meeting up with old friends and making lots of new ones.  For more conference details you can go to http://www.creatingchange.org/.

So, if you are working on, or advocating for LGBT tobacco issues, we want you to apply for a scholarship and join us this year at Creating Change!

Scholarships will cover: airfare, ground transport, conference registration and double occupancy hotel for three nights, & per diem reimbursement.

Please Note: If you are selected by our Scholarship Committee to attend the conference you will be asked to represent the Network. We will be asking scholarship recipients to create blogs, tweets, videos etc. that can be uploaded to our social networking sites to document the conference. In addition, you will be asked to sign-up in shifts to assist in manning the Network booth.

Application details:

Once again, applications are due Tuesday, December 29, 2009 by 5pm EST

Applications will only be accepted by email at lgbttobacco@gmail.com

Please ensure the subject line reads: CREATING CHANGE SCHOLARSHIP

To apply, please email BRIEF responses to the following questions:

1) Briefly describe what your involvement has been in the tobacco control community over the past year?

2) Briefly describe why you would be good at promoting, the on the spot, conference happenings through the Networks social media sites such as creating blogs, tweets, video blogs etc.

3) Briefly describe why would you be valuable to the network (besides already being in the network, because that is a huge value already) to help promote our activities and create more awareness of the Network at the booth and overall at the conference?

4) Briefly describe if you are from of an underserved population?

5) Do you need a Full or Partial scholarship?
(Please mark with an X if you are applying for Full Scholarship or Partial Scholarship)
If you choose partial scholarship, please mark with an X what funding categories you will be applying for.

___ Full Scholarship (Airfare, Hotel, Registration, Ground Transportation, Per Diem $1095)

OR
___ Partial Scholarship
___ Airfare (approx $350)
___ Conference Registration ($300)
___ Food/Per Diem ($160)
___ Ground Transportation ($60.00)
___ Hotel (3 nights/shared $225)

Applications will be reviewed by our review team and decisions will be made no later than December 30, 2009.

If you already plan on attending the conference we want to know! Shoot us an email so we can meet up with you in dallas!See you there!

Action Alerts

Action Alert- Attn Orgs! Sign on to Create an Office of LGBT Health

Action Alert from the National Coalition for LGBT Health

The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is considering creating a dedicated Office of LGBT Health. This would be an incredible affirmation of the importance of LGBT health and would help keep LGBT health concerns high on the list of priorities for attention, funding, and programming.

HHS is expected to make this decision before Thanksgiving. Due to the tight timeline, we are asking groups and organizations to sign on to the letter below by not later than 1 PM EST tomorrow (Friday, 11/20).

If your group or organization would like to sign on, please email Kellan Baker Policy Associate at the National Coalition for LGBT Health. Please do not hesitate to contact Kellan with any questions.

Please join us in supporting an Office of LGBT Health and a healthier future for the LGBT community!

November 19, 2009

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary for Health
Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Sebelius,

The undersigned organizations are writing to you in support of the creation of an Office of LGBT Health to address the health disparities facing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. An Office of LGBT Health at the highest level of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is critical to creating a lasting infrastructure that will allow for a focus the health concerns of the LGBT community. This office would take the lead in coordinating a consistent, scientifically driven, and substantive response across HHS to LGBT health disparities.

For LGBT people, systemic discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression has led to decades of obstructed access to health care and has significant negative impacts on the overall health of LGBT individuals. LGBT people suffer disproportionately from the adverse health effects of stigma, stress, and violence, further compounded by the barriers that prevent them from accessing vital health care services even for routine care: research has consistently shown that being LGBT substantially impacts whether or not a person receives care and, when they do receive care, whether that care effectively speaks to all aspects of their lives. Moreover, many members of the LGBT community are members of other communities that also face substantial health disparities and are thus vulnerable to cumulative negative outcomes. For example, an African-American gay man faces disparities common to the African-American community as well as those suffered by the LGBT community, and a transsexual Spanish-speaking woman, regardless of her sexual orientation, must navigate multiple instances of discrimination based on language, ethnicity, and gender.

These health and health care disparities are now recognized by numerous divisions of HHS, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Healthy People 2020 has also acknowledged the imperative to address the disparities in health status and health care access that impact the LGBT community. An autonomous Office of LGBT Health within HHS is a key step in coordinating and streamlining the agency’s efforts to address LGBT health disparities and would be a laudable demonstration of the agency’s commitment to the health and well-being of the LGBT community.

We look forward to your reply. If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Rebecca Fox at the National Coalition for LGBT Health at (202) 436-0228 or Rebecca@lgbthealth.net.

Sincerely,

CC: Assistant Secretary Howard Koh

LGBT Policy · Tobacco Policy

The LGBT Tobacco Policy Update You All Have Been Waiting For

Hey y’all,
A few weeks back I had the distinct pleasure of spending a few different batches of time in fluorescent lit meeting rooms in some anonymous Atlanta hotel. And you know I love that for its own sake, but also, the entertainment added some extra value. It was probably your normal cabaret show (a.k.a. CDC Office on Smoking and Health meeting and National Tobacco Disparity Networks), but in the middle, we got a few different policy updates from the good folk working on tobacco policy at a national level. So, here for your edification, is the 200% unofficial Scout-version of what might have been said, rumored, or implied. As per usual, all errors are probably someone else’s fault, and all correct information is absolutely to my credit.

They thought we were screaming mimis
So, times are a changing with tobacco. Why? Well there’s been a few bombshells recently about the potential impact of Clean Indoor Air Laws. Did you see the recent news about smoking bans cutting heart attacks by about 1/4?

iom_report_sml
IOM's Report on Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects

Well this was a precursor to the later release of the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on clean indoor air. This was rumored to be the first ever IOM report held up for release, because they couldn’t believe the strength of the findings, so they had to double check to be sure.

In that, they find smoking bans decrease heart attacks by about 1/5. Now this isn’t even considering all the associated health gains, it’s just heart attack. This is a 1-2 punch with a forthcoming Surgeon General’s report that’s staged to be released soon which continues to drive the smoking risk points home… each of these documents present conclusions that are stronger than prior claims… and as they were summarized by one guy, it’s basically such a strong negative effect between smoking and cancer that we can’t assure you that walking by a smoker once won’t be enough to give you cancer. Now in publichealthia (the land of pubic health) we rarely stumble across anything that has as big an effect as reducing 1/5 of heart attacks — so this is getting lots of notice. In the words of another, “they were dismissing our claims about clean indoor air as overestimation, now everyone realizes we were actually underestimating the risks”. This focus on policy dovetails nicely with the Obama push to move health upstream, to reclaim the dusty unfavored idea of Prevention! Remember, he also recently appointed a new bulldog to head the CDC, a guy who is rumored to work day and night and one who comes out of Bloomberg’s Tobacco-Control Land (a.k.a. New York City). So, we think tobacco control is getting more natural attention at CDC thru this move as well.

Wellness arise!
I know you all have seen the different spurts of cash coming out thru the $650M of stimulus money allocated to chronic disease prevention, the Wellness RFA, another nearly indistinguishable Wellness RFA, and some quitline $ (and yet, I’m not sure it all adds up to $650M, hmm?). So these are rumored to be Obama/CDCs shot over the prow at Wellness/prevention initiatives, with the hope they are a good testbed for smart ideas to include in bigger wellness/prevention rollouts as part of health care reform. (Or HCR for the vowel-impaired). Seems like all the states and “communities” (aka cities) are planning to submit for these awards, so it’ll be interesting to see what programs make the cut, and of course, how many of those actually include LGBT in their disparity planning. Another upshot in this wellness/prevention drift is relative lower focus on cessation, concurrent with more on policy and prevention activities. There’s an effort afoot to push cessation costs more onto employers/insurers (which only seems to be insanely logical, what mercury poisoned actuary really is advising insurance companies that it’s financially prudent not to cover nicotine replacement therapy, etc?). (Wups, will the mercury poisoning lobby dislike me for that?). Look for a large employer to take the lead in near months on showing how a smart “company” really does do comprehensive cessation benefits.

What about FDA?
It’s here! It’s vague! Get used to it! was heard being chanted outside the hotel windows, I presume they were talking about FDA. But according to the folk inside, this is a bill that is, of course you naive simpleton, not perfect, but as bills go, not dang horrid either. FDAs got some teeth, thinking is esp at a local level, where many communities have control over the laws governing advertising. Much talk of the change as we (finally) get new warning ads, but how we have a long way to progress to the ‘tombstone’ standard where tobacco companies are only able to say their cigarette name and price in a generic font at sales locations and on packages. There was some general shaming about how some lovely but not public health leading countries such as maybe Indonesia (?) are trumping our butts on having good tobacco control policies, but then, I don’t think any of us are deluded as to any US supremacy we may have on this issue, right? Anyhow, it’s power to the people here in FDA-land, where we might find lots of community action potential to keep cigarettes off our babies bodies. Of course, community level change seems a bit harder to do than one national law, but what, are we lazy? (slow yawn) No!!

Empower really always had too many vowels
So it’s the big new framework around tobacco, everything has to do with MPOWER, or as some pithy individual noted, MPOWERD. What is it? Jeez, I lost my notes… um… oh yah, it appears to be a WHO package. What? (no What’s on second) Oh, I found it, a package of 6 proven policies. M=Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies. P=Protect people from tobacco smoke. O=Offer to help people quit. W=Warn about dangers of tobacco. E=Enforce bans on tobacco ads, promotion and sponsorship. R=Raise taxes on tobacco. And of course, the silent D= eliminate Disparities!! Now isn’t that just too cute an acronym for words? Aren’t you proud of the World Health Organization (WHO) acronym generation team? I am. And mostly, if your tobacco control is working on something else, then what are you doing? Or maybe also to note, if your comprehensive tobacco control program isn’t addressing all of this, then your acronym is unspeakable. And us LGBTQIs would never ever be ok with that. Puh. (getting a feeling I should wind this up real soon)

Nu CDC combined ATS has LGBT! (vowel reduction sentence)
Oh yes, it’s true we all should be excited, the new combined Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) coming out soon has an LGBT surveillance question!! Please contain the dancing in the streets folks, it’s just a start, but yes, we are very happy about it. Oh hey — any moment now I’m about to announce the first largescale T survey findings on tobacco, because we negotiated to get a tobacco question on the recent NGLTF national trans survey…. wanna know a preview? Yup, as expected, prevalence 50% over nat’l avg. But this is *no longer a guess*, it’s real data from 2k+ living trans folk, w00t!

In conclusion
Omigosh, I think that’s it. (and about time you’re all thinking). So from the bowels of some unremarkable hotel conference room, I remain, sincerely yours,

Dr. He’s-Just-Always-So-Professional Scout

Staff/Program Updates

Please Welcome Nat’l LGBT Tobacco Network’s New Project Manager!

The National LGBT Tobacco Control Network is pleased to announce a key addition to our staff. After a long search, we are very happy to welcome Mr. Gustavo Torrez from California as our new Project Manager.

Many of you already know Gustavo, he has been involved in the tobacco control movement for 14 years. After being an outspoken teen on the subject of tobacco, he was one of a few young adults from around the country selected for American Legacy Foundation’s Speakers Bureau and later, their Activism Council. For the Past 8 years he has been working with the STAND Projects, a program of Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant trails in Sacramento. During this time, he has assisted in the development and management of eight successfully grant funded programs bring in over 2.8 million dollars for his local community. From this work he now moves onto Boston to The Fenway Institute where he’ll fill out the team of three staff at the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network. Gustavo says, “After working with the American Legacy Foundation I always wanted to do more work on a national level. I’ve worked in the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network for years and I really appreciate all the great people and amazing work going on. I am frankly ecstatic to have the opportunity to join the staff team to help move the Network forward further.”

For our part we are sincerely delighted to have gotten the sweet mix of an experienced hand at tobacco and such an up and coming star into the house team for the Network. Look for great things to come.

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Gustavo, feel free to send him welcome emails at lgbttobacco@gmail.com or leave comments on here!

Staff/Program Updates

Please Welcome Nat’l LGBT Tobacco Network’s New Project Manager!

The National LGBT Tobacco Control Network is pleased to announce a key addition to our staff. After a long search, we are very happy to welcome Mr. Gustavo Torrez from California as our new Project Manager.

Many of you already know Gustavo, he has been involved in the tobacco control movement for 14 years. After being an outspoken teen on the subject of tobacco, he was one of a few young adults from around the country selected for American Legacy Foundation’s Speakers Bureau and later, their Activism Council. For the Past 8 years he has been working with the STAND Projects, a program of Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant trails in Sacramento. During this time, he has assisted in the development and management of eight successfully grant funded programs bring in over 2.8 million dollars for his local community. From this work he now moves onto Boston to The Fenway Institute where he’ll fill out the team of three staff at the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network. Gustavo says, “After working with the American Legacy Foundation I always wanted to do more work on a national level. I’ve worked in the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network for years and I really appreciate all the great people and amazing work going on. I am frankly ecstatic to have the opportunity to join the staff team to help move the Network forward further.”

For our part we are sincerely delighted to have gotten the sweet mix of an experienced hand at tobacco and such an up and coming star into the house team for the Network. Look for great things to come.

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Gustavo, feel free to send him welcome emails at lgbttobacco@gmail.com or leave comments on here!

Conferences

Network presence at 2nd Menthol Conference

Hi,  reporting from the 2nd Menthol Conference hosted by NAATPN in Washington D.C.

Lots of interesting information given on the first day here that isn’t specific to LGBT  but maybe of general interest.

1.  Role of menthol and increased health risks –to date the scientific data does not support higher rates of disease (cancer, heart disease, etc.) associated with use of menthol cigarettes.  The same health risks associated with smoking remain with use of menthol cigarettes. Menthol is not a safer brand.

2.  Menthol is associated with deeper inhalation which increases the amount of nicotine received while smoking fewer numbers of cigarettes per day.  This has implications for lower income and young smokers where access to cigarettes are limited due to cost.

3.  Menthol has been shown to be the initiation flavor for youth.  The level of menthol is manipulated for various types of smokers.  For brands targeted toward younger smokers, menthol levels are milder to mask the harsh taste of tobacco.  Menthol levels are increased for brands targeted toward older and more chronic smokers.

4.  Use of menthol products vary by demographic groups. African Americans use at the highest levels followed by Latinos.  However, women more likely to use than men.  Young and new smokers use menthol brands.  Low income smokers also more likely to use menthol.  No data is available for LGBT communities.

5.  Targeting – there has been very relentless targeting of menthol among African Americans.  “The Africanization of menthol”.  However, there is also targeting in Latino and Asian communities.  Use of menthol is increasing in these communities.

6.  Smoking cessation – the use of menthol cigarettes is associated with more difficulty in quitting.

7.  In 2009 FDA outlawed the manufactoring of flavored cigarettes because of greater preference by youth.  However, menthol was exempted from that legislation.  Due to activism by the AA community and other anti-tobacco advocates the FDA has agreed to review the data associated with menthol with the possibility of banning menthol.

8.  Marketing experts discussed how regulations regarding advertisement of flavored cigs. can be easily “worked around.”  Terms like “frost”, “ice”, “purple haze”  and packaging colors can be used and will not be covered under the FDA acts.

9.  Cheryl Healton (spelling) from the Legacy foundation has been the only presenter to mention lgbt.

O.k., all for now.  alicia.

Staff/Program Updates

Welcome!

Tobacco control advocates, activists, LGBT’s, allies, and those fighting the good fight…

Welcome to the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network’s blog. One of six funded CDC networks, we work as a hub linking LGBTs and tobacco control through up-to-the-minute news, materials, and expert advice. To find out more about what we do, please visit  our website.

We will be utilizing this blog to highlight events that Network staff and members participate in, with other related issues to LGBT tobacco control as well.  You can also follow us on twitter @lgbttobacco or find us on facebook!

Til next time…
-Network Blog Guru