Did you know that LGBT adults between the ages of 18 – 24 years are twice as likely to use tobacco as their peers? Some hypothesize that this is due to the increased stress among the LGBT population, as well as the social prevalence of smoking in bars and clubs frequented by LGBT.
As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to target this particular smoking-heavy audience by rolling out a new $35 million anti-tobacco campaign. The federal initiative, known as “This Free Life” will specifically target LGBT smokers and will include four anti-smoking videos aimed at preventing and reducing smoking among the community.
The FDA is using the slogan “Freedom to be, tobacco-free” in the hopes of connecting with an LGBT audience, one that highly values the concept of “freedom to be…” Dr. Scout, the Director of LGBT HealthLink, helped the FDA make the anti-smoking ads. Dr. Scout explained: “This is the biggest LGBT health initiative that’s ever existed….”
The videos were paid for by collecting required fees from the tobacco industry. It has been known for some time that tobacco companies have explicitly targeted LGBT smokers. This was brought to light through the U.S. anti-tobacco litigation during the 1990s. After the FDA received authority to regulate tobacco in 2009, the agency began to work with a marketing company to create an anti-smoking campaign, which is now being tailored to the LGBT community.
The Freedom to be, tobacco-free initiative launches this week in some of the largest media markets throughout the states.