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CDC targets LGBTs with Tips From Former Smokers Campaign

This month CDC is launching its 4th annual wave of the popular and effective “Tips From Former Smokers ( Tips )” campaign, with its largest ever LGBT media outreach component. CDC is promoting Tips ads to LGBT communities across the country to supplement exposure to ads airing nationally.

“LGBT people spend an estimated $7.9 billion dollars each year on smoking, yet we still think of it as a personal choice; it’s time we realize we smoke at such high rates because of systematic targeting by the tobacco industry” said Dr. Scout, the Director of LGBT HealthLink. “We’re deeply pleased CDC is doing this level of marketing to reach the LGBT population, because the tobacco industry has been doing it for a long time.”

The Tips campaign has spurred an estimated 1.64 million Americans to make a cessation attempt. New information from the Surgeon General’s 50th anniversary report on tobacco ( #SGR50 ) not only acknowledges the disproportionate impact of smoking on the LGBT communities, but also links tobacco use to higher rates of additional cancers and for the first time, diabetes as well. This integration of LGBT communities into tobacco control programming has become more routine every year. The Acting Surgeon General made statements specific to the LGBT impact upon release of last years’ report, and prior Tips campaign ads and media buys have had a measure of activity tailored to the LGBT population. This year’s campaign has the most extensive LGBT media buy to date. CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health has long funded an LGBT tobacco disparity network, currently LGBT HealthLink. This is one of eight disparity networks that serve to provide CDC and their state grantees resources to assist reaching populations disproportionately impacted by tobacco and cancer.

“We’re incredibly pleased with the federal outreach to LGBT communities and states are reaching out more as well. When you call 1-800-QUITNOW you’re very likely to be asked if you’re LGBT, because we urged it; you’re very likely to get a counselor who is trained in LGBT cultural competency, because we provided the training; and in some states you’ll even see locally tailored outreach campaigns too,” notes Dr. Scout.

“LGBT communities smoke at rates that are about 50% higher than their heterosexual/straight counterparts. CDC is very concerned about this elevated smoking rate and committed to making sure tobacco control campaigns like Tips really do help reduce that disproportionate burden on LGBT communities,” said Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., senior medical officer in CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.

LGBT tailored Tips ads will run from now through Pride month and into mid-August in a variety of regional, national and digital media sites, as well as on social media. Access electronic versions of the ads, as well as videos, podcasts, and LGBT smoking facts at: .

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