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Local West Hollywood leaders speak out against big tobacco’s heavy marketing to the LGBTQ community

LOS ANGELESWith the countdown to election day in full swing, dozens of city leaders across the state are gathering to educate voters of the importance of Prop 56.  The campaign’s latest supporters, West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran, Councilmember Lindsey Horvath and local community and advocacy leaders, joined forces with Yes on Prop 56 to stand up to big tobacco’s LGBTQ youth targeted marketing tactics, highlight the negative impacts of tobacco on LGBTQ communities.

Big tobacco’s advertising and marketing tactics have long targeted LGBTQ Americans. Tobacco companies spend $9 billion every year marketing their deadly, costly products, intentionally targeting LGBTQ communities through advertising and event sponsorship. Nationally, the American Cancer Society estimates that 30,000 LGBTQ Americans die from tobacco-related diseases annually.

“The additional tax on tobacco products will boost Medi-Cal reimbursement rates for the poor,” said Councilmember John Duran.  “It’s appropriate since many smokers who develop heart and lung disease due to tobacco end up being cared for by Medi-Cal.”

“Big tobacco has a long, well-chronicled track record of targeting young people and LGBTQ people with smoking ads. They don’t care about us; they’re just trying to add to their profits,” said Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath. “They spend millions on deceptive advertising and hide their own involvement behind the endorsers they pay. We’re not buying it.”

The skyrocketing popularity of e-cigarettes among youths is creating a new generation of addicts.  E-cigarette vapor includes toxic chemicals and highly addictive nicotine. About 21% of California youths reported they use e-cigarettes and other electronic vapor products, and 45% reported using them at one point, according to a 2015 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Teens who try e-cigarettes are at least two times more likely to try traditional cigarettes.

“The main reason we support this measure is because tobacco is a leading cause of death for the LGBT community and we believe raising the prices on cigarettes has been shown to effectively reduce smoking,” said Dave Garcia, Director of Policy and Community Building for the Los Angeles LGBT Center. “The smoking rate among LGBT community in California is 27.4 percent, compared to a heterosexual smoking rate of 12.9 percent.”

“Every year, LGBT Americans spend $7.9 billion on tobacco products,” said Tony Hoang, Deputy Director of Equality California.  “To put this in perspective, this is 65 times more than what is spent on lobbying for LGBT issues. Smoking is not only bad for our health, it’s bad for our wallets and our community’s progress.”


Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=74812

Posted by on Oct 22, 2016. Filed under Around the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Local West Hollywood leaders speak out against big tobacco’s heavy marketing to the LGBTQ community”

  1. Isn’t it obvious that Tobacco itself, should be banned before e cigarettes which are up to 95% less harmful ? Until and unless there is a ban on cigarettes one shouldn’t waste time on worrying about what may lead to smoking them

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