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Benson & Hedges Targets LGBTT Communities in Puerto Rico

Juan Carlos Photo


Juan Carlos Vega, MLS

Blogging for the Citizens’ Alliance Pro LGBTTA Health of Puerto Rico, National Latino Alliance Pro Health Equity and the Network for LGBT Health Equity



This is bad! As health professionals, community prevention programs, and the Puerto Rico Department of Health strive to reduce tobacco use prevalence among island inhabitants, we have busted Benson & Hedges, twice, targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transexual (LGBTT) communities in San Juan area’s LGBTT clubs. Cute girls, in tight outfits, look to scan your driver’s license in order to continue to help folks initiate or facilitate access to low price cigarettes. If you fill out the survey that they present at these bars and allow them to scan your id, you can purchase a pack of Benson & Hedges from the bar at a huge discount. No wonder LGBTT smoking prevalence is two to three times higher than that of the general population.

Health Authorities Warn: Smoking Kills
Health Authorities Warn: Smoking Kills

Twice, I have been with gay guys who are trying to quit smoking for health and financial reasons and they have been accosted by such tobacco industry tactics. One time, we bought the cigarettes, the second time we resisted. Yes, I was included. After nine years of being smoke free, I have become an occasional social smoker for the past 3-4 years. It is so nasty, the smoke inhalation, the after taste, yet, after a few drinks, I see myself taking a “hit” or two from my friends’ cigarettes. I don’t blame the industry for my personal unhealthy choices, but they sure don’t help us quit for good!  Access to cheap smokes at bars should not be allowed! 

Last weekend, was the second consecutive month, we have seen this predatory practice in our local LGBTT bars. It was contrasting to see as we were distributing promotional flyers for the  3rd LGBTT Health Summit of Puerto Rico, April 4th and 5th at the School of Nursing of the Medical Science Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, free of cost for the general public and $45.00 fee for Continuing Education for Physicians and Nurses. Against the luring of the tobacco industry to get us to smoke again, the Citizens’ Alliance Pro LGBTT Healthefforts continue to fight the dangers of tobacco use with the support ofLegacy Foundation, the Network for LGBT Health Equity, theComprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Puerto Rico, and the local tobacco free coalition. For more information, on how tobacco affects the health of LGBTT communities, come to the 3rd LGBTT Health Summit of Puerto Rico: Tendencies Towards Health EquityApril 4th and 5th in San Juan. Come by, our Summit is cheaper than the pack of cigarettes sold those nights and you will get great information, make new friends and learn how to take better care of yourselves!

spanish tobacco
Juan Carlos Vega shows a tobacco cessation material in Spanish “Tobacco is a murderer that does not discriminate”
Blogs en español · Publica En Espanol - Posts in Spanish · Puerto Rico

IX Coloquio Sobre la Mujer

Por M. Álvarez
Alianza Ciudadana en Pro de la Salud LGBTTA (ACPSLGBTTA)

Hoy comenzó el IX Coloquio Sobre la Mujer, en la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Cayey. La actividad, a cargo del Proyecto de Estudios de las Mujeres (ProMujeres), está enfocada en temas relacionados al desarrollo, paz y derechos humanos de las mujeres.

Serán 3 días de presentaciones, diálogos e intercambio de ideas que tocarán temas como género y derechos humanos, prevención de la violencia sexual, diversidad sexual y género, derechos sexuales, entre muchos otros, todos relacionados al desarrollo de la mujer.

La temática LGBTT solo se tocará en dos conferencias, la primera se ofrecerá esta tarde,  Historia de las mujeres lesbianas profesionalmente exitosas y sus implicaciones en el proceso de consejería; y la segunda mañana miércoles en la tarde, un conversatorio- performance, El imaginario de la mujer en los travestis, transgéneros, transexuales.

La Alianza Ciudadana en Pro de la Salud LGBTTA está presente en esta actividad con una mesa informativa sobre la Alianza y temas de salud relacionados a la Mujer lesbiana y bisexual.

Para mantenerte informado/a de los acontecimientos en el IX Coloquio y nuestra participación visítanos en nuestra página web y en Facebook:SaludLGBTTA


Puerto Rico

With health insurance domestic partners in the Capital

Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan, will be the first  to have a health insurance that will include domestic partners.

The directive, issued on January 17 and announced Sunday by Cruz Soto states that the health plan that is negotiated by the Municipality of San Juan should consider as beneficiary the partner of any employee under a domestic union, and dependents that may arise as a result of that relationship. Two newly hired employees in the Municipality of San Juan will be the first to benefit from the executive order issued by Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto aimed to include domestic partners in the health coverage offered to employees of the Capital .

The administration of the municipality and the health insurer Triple S, held a meeting-orientation  attended by both couples, one heterosexual and one homosexual, with success.

Yulin, who took office in the town this month, had many questions in the wake of this ordinance, to which she answered “I’m not here as mayor to judge, but to help”

We commend the mayor for this great step to social justice and equal rights!

On another note: Carmen Yulin also announced that November 13 will be declared as the “Day for awareness against hate crimes.” She explained that she chose that date because it coincides with the murder, in 2009, of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado. A 19 years old teen who died decapitated, dismembered, and burned. The police investigator suggested that he deserved what he got because of the “type of lifestyle” he was leading.

Read the full article here