LGBT Wellness Roundup: October 5

As published on Huffington Post’s new LGBT Wellness blog, see original at: http://ow.ly/DhVNO

Each week HuffPost Gay Voices, in a partnership with bloggers Liz Margolies and Scout, brings you a round up of some of the biggest LGBT wellness stories from the past seven days. For more LGBT Wellness, visit our page dedicated to the topic here. The weekly LGBT Wellness Roundup can also now be experienced as a video — check it out above.

Youth Kicks! An LGBTQ Youth Counter Tobacco Project’s Next Steps

by Emilia Dunham

Program Associate

Some of you may remember the LGBTQ youth anti-tobacco campaign, Youth Kicks, I was working on with the National Youth Advocacy Coalition. We started a little less than a year ago with the staff support NYAC, and a few of us met up at Creating Change to discuss strategy and goals. Unfortunately, there were some challenges as NYAC closed its doors back in the Spring. This came as quite a shock to the LGBTQ and youth communities across the country, and the loss of NYAC leaves a big gap to fill in the LGBTQ community.

Shortly after NYAC shut its doors, we at the Network decided to take on the project, and even after the timeframe of the project ended, many of the youth graciously agreed to volunteer even after this time. With conference calls once or twice a month, these youth experts came together to form some what-we-believe-to-be effective strategies to aid in harm reduction of tobacco prevalence in LGBTQ youth communities.

Finally after many conversations of discussing the project, we decided on some messaging and image concepts, which were sent to yet another dedicated volunteer, Jean Calomeni of Project Filter, who is responsible for some stellar ads in response to Camel Snus’ aggressive targeting of LGBT communities.

Although I am afraid this is just a teaser as the final product is not complete, though the drafts are quite stunning, so you’ll have to hang tight but expect some great designs that you’ll be able to share at your agencies and beyond.

However I would like to take a moment to introduce our committee members:

Carla Mena was born in Lima, Peru. She came to the US in the year 2001; she graduated from high school with an honors GPA and became the first National Honors Society Hispanic member at Sanderson High School in Raleigh. During her freshmen year of high school, Carla joined El Pueblo’s youth (No Fumo) program and has been a key volunteer since then; it was through El Pueblo and her own experiences that Carla discovered her passion for social justice. Carla is currently attending Meredith College, majoring in Biology. At Meredith, Carla has organized several programs to make the Meredith community more aware of the issues affecting the Latino community, as well as events to share its cultural richness. Carla is currently serving as the Youth Reproductive Health (Our Rights Have no Borders) Intern at El Pueblo Inc. Carla is passionate about access to higher education, human rights and social justice.

Ariel Cerrud is a graduate of Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, majoring in Political Science with a Minor in Communication Studies. As a youth activist, he has advocated on behalf of various governmental, non-governmental, community and advocacy entities. Ariel’s advocacy work has revolved around youth focused areas including youth character and leadership development and health disparities in young people including working towards curving adolescent risky behaviors.  Ariel’s most recent advocacy work has been on behalf of Advocates For Youth, as a Peer Educator for YouthResources.com, a website by and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youth. Ariel also provides content and materials for Amplify Your Voice, Advocates for Youth new interactive website that serve as a vehicle for youth-led, grassroots online activism. In his professional life, Ariel works as a Program Director for Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland. Under his role, he provides guidance to youth ages 6-18 and instills within each of them a sense of belonging, power and influence over their lives. He works to enable all youth to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens and instills these potentials in every program and activity he leads.

Chase Andrews is a 24 year old, Atlanta native and a recent graduate of Georgia State University. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Communication with a minor in Psychology. He’s is the former Program Coordinator for the Department of Student Health Promotion at his alma mater. He got his start as a peer health educator in 2005, from there his interest in health education and HIV prevention blossomed. In August of 2010, he joined the AID Atlanta staff as the Recruitment and Retention Specialist for the Evolution Project. When he’s not doing HIV prevention work he’s a filmmaker. In 2009 he started a small production company, Eight Peace Productions, LLC. He’s currently working on short film entitled: Emotionally Safe Sex: Beyond Barrier Methods. Ultimately, Chase aims to combine his passion for LGBT youth, HIV prevention, and film to create provocative media/art.

Lexi Adsit, a familiar face, is a fierce queer transwomyn of color. She blogged for us at the Philly Trans Health Conference. She is studying at San Francisco State University majoring in Raza Studies with a minor in counseling. Her activism led her to many non-profits in the San Francisco Bay Area and a larger network of like-minded people whom she has worked with since high school. She is in the middle of various projects, including YouthKicks, ranging from being an online peer educator with Advocates For Youth (AFY) to interning at the ACLU of Northern California in the Friedman Education Youth Program to more recently working as a Coordinator for YouthNoise.  She is also a proud part of the femme shark and INCITE! Movement. She dreams of being a counselor for queer youth and run a homeless shelter for queer and trans youth in the Bay Area.

Ernesto, another familiar face, is a twenty-something aged youth from Portland Oregon. Currently he works for Cascade AIDS Project as youth technology specialist where he engages young people in creating healthy sexuality for themselves and their peers through social media. As an LGBT youth of color Ernesto has worked in various positions in local, state and national organizations to address some of the serious health inequities that exist for young people in America. As a 4th year member of Advocates for Youth initiatives, Ernesto is glad to bring his diverse experiences to the work he does in creating safe and supportive spaces for youth. You may also recall Ernesto served on our Steering Committee and was featured in a recent issue of Sharing Our Lessons: From Queer Youth to Public Health Leader.

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 MySCENEcity.com 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 MySCENEcity.com.
  • We know there are more, and Bob has offered to keep a list of publications on their site, http://www.lastdrag.org/cleanmoney.html. 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 www.trinketsandtrash.org.
  • 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

Tobacco Industry's Newest Target: Hipsters

In a recent Media Network Web-cast with the Office of Smoking Health, Stacey Anderson and her colleagues presented on their research: Acceptable Rebellion’: Marketing Hipster Aesthetics to Sell Camel Cigarettes in the U.S.

As an urban resident myself, hipsters are a trademark of my area. Ever impressed with their sense of style, I’ll see hipsters hanging out on their stoops or in front of dive bars/cultural venues with their bicycles, tight pants, plaid and retro/alternative clothing. However, just as ubiquitous as the edgy haircuts and tattoe are the cigarettes in their hands. Which is not far from the truth as 56% of hipsters smoke.

So why are these numbers so high? According to the presentation/article, hipsters seek outlets for freedom and self-expression. They admire the kitsch, absurd, eccentric, and Camel has positioned itself to deliver what hipsters are attracted to.

Why has Camel targeted hipsters? For one, since mainstream advertising options have been restricted, tobacco industries have become acquainted with targeting underground, “alternative lifestyles” (ex. the LGBT community).

What makes hipsters easier targets is their often nihilistic outlook on life that influences them to disregard traditional health warnings against smoking.

The tobacco industry is also aware that “underground” culture influences the market, and while hipsters typically intend to be anti-establishment, they often set mainstream trends.

To overcome the fact that hipsters reject mainstream messages, tobacco marketers admittedly aim to get hipsters to think that they started the trend of smoking.

Just as the tobacco industry has targeted sub-cultural groups by essentially manipulating and inverting their own values against themselves, we need to be less straightforward with our intervention strategy. For instance, perhaps we should expose the manipulation of the tobacco industry’s attempt to infuse a corporate, mainstream product into their culture. Another idea that the presenter brought up would be to use advertising campaigns that hipsters may find attractive, like internet based relatable UrbanFuel.org and XpoZLV.com. The latter of which also hosts smokefree alternative concerts.

For more information on this, an abstract and summary of the article is available at the following link. ‘Acceptable Rebellion’: Marketing Hipster Aesthetics to Sell Camel Cigarettes in the U.S.,  (Tobacco Control, June 2010), Yogi Hendlin, Ph.D. candidate, UC Los Angeles and Stacey Anderson, Ph.D., UC San Francisco.

Blog post by Emilia Dunham

Network Program Associate

 

 

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Tobacco Industry’s Newest Target: Hipsters

In a recent Media Network Web-cast with the Office of Smoking Health, Stacey Anderson and her colleagues presented on their research: Acceptable Rebellion’: Marketing Hipster Aesthetics to Sell Camel Cigarettes in the U.S.

As an urban resident myself, hipsters are a trademark of my area. Ever impressed with their sense of style, I’ll see hipsters hanging out on their stoops or in front of dive bars/cultural venues with their bicycles, tight pants, plaid and retro/alternative clothing. However, just as ubiquitous as the edgy haircuts and tattoe are the cigarettes in their hands. Which is not far from the truth as 56% of hipsters smoke.

So why are these numbers so high? According to the presentation/article, hipsters seek outlets for freedom and self-expression. They admire the kitsch, absurd, eccentric, and Camel has positioned itself to deliver what hipsters are attracted to.

Why has Camel targeted hipsters? For one, since mainstream advertising options have been restricted, tobacco industries have become acquainted with targeting underground, “alternative lifestyles” (ex. the LGBT community).

What makes hipsters easier targets is their often nihilistic outlook on life that influences them to disregard traditional health warnings against smoking.

The tobacco industry is also aware that “underground” culture influences the market, and while hipsters typically intend to be anti-establishment, they often set mainstream trends.

To overcome the fact that hipsters reject mainstream messages, tobacco marketers admittedly aim to get hipsters to think that they started the trend of smoking.

Just as the tobacco industry has targeted sub-cultural groups by essentially manipulating and inverting their own values against themselves, we need to be less straightforward with our intervention strategy. For instance, perhaps we should expose the manipulation of the tobacco industry’s attempt to infuse a corporate, mainstream product into their culture. Another idea that the presenter brought up would be to use advertising campaigns that hipsters may find attractive, like internet based relatable UrbanFuel.org and XpoZLV.com. The latter of which also hosts smokefree alternative concerts.

For more information on this, an abstract and summary of the article is available at the following link. ‘Acceptable Rebellion’: Marketing Hipster Aesthetics to Sell Camel Cigarettes in the U.S.,  (Tobacco Control, June 2010), Yogi Hendlin, Ph.D. candidate, UC Los Angeles and Stacey Anderson, Ph.D., UC San Francisco.

Blog post by Emilia Dunham

Network Program Associate

 

 

Bookmark and Share