Just a mere fifty years ago, the U.S. Surgeon General released its first report on smoking and health. It’s sad to report that since then, there have been an estimated 20 million deaths in the United States, all from smoking and/or exposure to secondhand smoke. To put 20 million into perspective, there are only 2 states that have more than 20 million residents, and that would be California and Texas.
This addiction not only claimed 20 million lives, but it left husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and friends heartbroken and sometimes alone. To visually get their point across, the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) launched an online memorial, this will commemorate the loss of the 20 million people, who have lost their lives to smoking related diseases.
The campaign began October 7th. People all across the country are taking to social media to share their testimony of people whom they lost and how it has affected their families. You can also be a part of this heartfelt memorial.
How do you get involved you asked? Start by sharing a memorial—a message and/or a photo—of someone you know who has lost their life to a smoking-related disease. By posting your memorial on social media with the hashtag #20million, your submission will become a part of CDC’s #20Million Memorial.
Below are examples you can use when drafting your own memorial(s).\
Spread the Word
If you don’t know anyone who has died from smoking, you can still get involved by promoting the #20Million Memorial campaign as well. Listed below are sample social media messages for you to post on your organization’s social media platforms or on your social media sites:
- Today marks the kickoff of CDC’s #20Million Memorial. Since the 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, 20 million people have died from a smoking-related illness. Share a memorial of someone you lost with the hashtag #20million.
- Together with @CDCTobaccoFree, we honor the #20million we have lost due to smoking. Share a memorial post of someone you lost using the hashtag #20million.
- Join @CDCTobaccoFree to raise awareness about the #20million people who have died because of smoking. www.cdc.gov/tips
- Who in your life has been affected by a smoking-related illness? Share your story using the #20million hashtag. www.cdc.gov/tips
We hope that you will join us all in memorializing our loved ones, and potentially changing the lives of people who battle with tobacco use. If you have any questions, please contact Maggie Silver at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jackie Woodring at email@example.com.
As I am sure you are aware on Tuesday Legacy released a new report: Tobacco Control In LGBT Communities. This report is another to hit the national stage to address the growing concern of tobacco use and the affect it has on LGBT people. The layout of this report is quite nice, first addressing Legacy’s role in the movement, but more importantly highlighting the prevalence rates, and the fact data collection efforts needs to continue so we can monitor tobacco use in our communities.
While there are a lot of numbers folks who appreciate the data, sometimes the data does not truly share the full story. The report has a great section, Behind the Numbers: Tobacco and LGBT Communities. Which paints the story of why tobacco use is and continues to be an issues among our communities. It looks at Social Stigma and Smoking, the Bar and Club Culture, addressing health care disparities and the lack of access to health care our communities face. In addition they showcase tobacco industry targeting, and how smoking is normalized in our community in such a way that it has truly infiltrated our lives and LGBT culture overall. Additionally it goes in to the efforts the tobacco industry took in co-opting our community, and how tobacco companies were characterized as pioneers who stood in solidarity with our communities which is such a fascinating read.
We all know that there is a long standing history of LGBT people and tobacco. The report addresses some key points on what needs to be done moving forward with a set of actions public health and tobacco control organizations can take to counter tobacco in our communities:
- Engage directly with the LGBT community to offer cessation and prevention services that are culturally competent.
- Include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity in population-based studies and surveys of health status.
- Develop better and more standardized questions about sexual orientation and gender identity so a better picture of LGBT populations can be drawn.
- Conduct longitudinal cohort studies, which follow participants over long periods of time.
- Include, at all levels, LGBT people in mainstream tobacco control efforts.
- Develop tobacco control media campaigns targeting LGBT communities.
- Help LGBT communities and organizations find alternatives to tobacco industry funding.
- Include LGBT youth in all levels of tobacco control efforts.
- Ensure that the leadership of LGBT tobacco control efforts represents all LGBT communities, including traditionally disenfranchised segments such as transgender people, lesbian and bisexual women, people of color, LGBT youth, and LGBT people of lower socioeconomic status.
In the second part of this report it showcases four case studies of past legacy grantees. Leave no Funds Behind, which was a project the Network created working on Bridging the Gap Between LGBT Organizations and Tobacco Control Funding. As well as, Delicious Lesbian Kisses: A Social Marketing Campaign with Staying Power, Crush: The LGBT Lifestyle Project, and 30 Seconds: Helping Health Care Providers Reach LGBT Tobacco Users were all highlighted.
I highly recommend you take a look at this report, and share both the report and the factsheet created by legacy:
The Network for LGBT Health Equity
MPOWERED: Taking on CDC
LGBT Communities smoke at rates 68% higher than the general population there is much work to be done to protect, and preserve our community, and many reasons that this disparity exists. Yesterday, Legacy released a report titled Tobacco Control in LGBT Communities.
To mark the release, Legacy hosted a panel discussion as part of their Warner lecture Series Tobacco Use in the LGBT Communities: Why LGBT People Smoke So Much & What Can Be Done About It . The panel took place at the Human Rights Campaign Headquarters in DC.
For those of you who watched the live webcast, I am sure you can agree that this was a hugely dynamic group of folks, speaking with both passion and commitment about working to reduce the health disparities affecting our communities. While the focus was LGBT Tobacco Control, there was a lot of discussion about the intersectionality of tobacco and other health disparities that affect disparity communities. Next week, the webcast will be available on the Legacy archive, and we highly recommend you check it out if you missed the webinar yesterday!
Also, if you’re on twitter, you can search #warnerseries to see the blow-by-low live tweeting from the event!
Last year the American Lung Association released their report: Smoking Out The Deadly Threat, and the panel yesterday was yet another exciting moment when a national organization released a report addressing the issues and challenges around tobacco use in the LGBT community.
As the tides shift both on a national and local level, we are so excited to see the growing support for comprehensive inclusion of LGBT communities in Tobacco Prevention and Control!
Check out this amazing video shown at the event
More to come about this exciting event…
LGBT Communities & Tobacco Use
A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health analyzed nationally representative survey results and found that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people smoke cigarettes at rates that are nearly 70 percent higher than the general population. Legacy is committed to raising awareness of the high prevalence of tobacco use within these communities and highlighting solutions to address it.
Dissemination Report: Tobacco Control in LGBT Communities
This is the twelfth publication in Legacy’s dissemination series. It calls attention to the issue of the high prevalence of tobacco use and nicotine dependence in LGBT communities in the United States and examines sociocultural facets of tobacco use and tobacco-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among LGBT individuals. It also includes four examples of promising projects implemented by Legacy’s past grantees to address the high prevalence of tobacco use and tobacco-related disparities in this population.
Download a PDF of Tobacco Control in LGBT Communities here.
Video: “Tobacco Control in LGBT Communities”
A look at tobacco use among the LGBT population through personal stories and expert insights from:
- Dr. Scout, Director, The Fenway Institute’s Network for LGBT Health Equity
- Amari Pearson-Fields, Former Deputy Director, Mautner Project
- Bil Browning, Editor-In-Chief, Bilerico Project Blog
Warner Series: “Tobacco Use in the LGBT Communities: Why LGBT People Smoke So Much & What Can Be Done About It”
On December 11th, 2012, Legacy and the Human Rights Campaign hosted a panel discussion examining the socio-cultural factors influencing tobacco use in LGBT communities in the U.S., which result in high prevalence rates, disease and loss of life.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
3:30 PM Eastern
Human Rights Campaign Headquarters, Washington D.C
View the webcast or RSVP in Person here.
Fact Sheet: “LGBT Communities and Smoking”
Explore the correlation between different LGBT groups and tobacco use.
Download a PDF of the fact sheet here