The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Smoking and Health has launched a new campaign aimed at encouraging people to quit smoking, and the campaign includes members of the LGBT community.
Among the voices featured is Ellie, who currently lives with her partner in a smoke-free home, because of asthma she suffered from second-hand smoke. (Ellie was never a smoker herself, and her story perfectly illustrates the health risks that smokers expose others to.)
Smoking and second-hand smoke are both serious issues in the LGBT community. CDC data shows that LGBT people are almost 70% more likely to smoke cigarettes than others.
“Tobacco use is one of the biggest health issues impacting the LGBT community,” said Scout, PhD, Director of the Fenway Institute Network for LGBT Health Equity. “Right now it’s still historic to see LGBT inclusion in a national health media campaign. I hope other health agencies follow CDC’s lead and start to make it routine.”
The CDC worked with the Fenway Institute on improving the diversity of this campaign.
"CDC's decision to portray LGBT people in this campaign will translate into positive health results for our community" said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. "All audiences need to see their communities represented in order for campaigns like this to really hit home. We know that a greater percent of LGBT people are smokers compared to the rest of America, and we believe that being inclusive will lead to more people getting the message."
The entire campaign is available online at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/
The CDC was previously recognized at the GLAAD Amplifier Awards, which honor outstanding LGBT representations in advertising, for a campaign entitled 'Testing Makes Us Stronger.'