Monday February 5, 2024
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The National LGBT Cancer Network is delighted to uplift the powerful messaging from LGBTQI+ community member Angie P., who is featured in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s thirteenth annual Tips from Former Smokers Campaign. “This is the first ad featuring a queer person in nearly a decade, and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” notes Dr. Scout, Network Executive Director. “Our communities really need to understand how menthol has made it easier for too many of us to smoke and too many of us to suffer from tobacco-related diseases.”
The Tips campaign launches on February 5 and will continue through September 22. Don’t miss Angie’s discussion of her experiences with menthol cigarettes and the importance of self-love in the face of aggressive targeting from tobacco companies! Learn more about Angie’s journey and her tips for current smokers on the CDC’s Real Stories page.
Menthol and other flavored nicotine products disproportionately impact our LGBTQI+ communities, especially our Black community members; a 2020 study shows that 81% of Black adults who smoke and 54% of LGBTQI+ adults who smoke use menthol products. Additional studies show that menthol makes it easier to start smoking and its inclusion in tobacco products makes them harder to quit. LGBTQI+ women, in particular, are more likely to start smoking at a young age and more likely to start with menthol cigarettes. In short: Angie’s story is painfully common.
To further raise awareness of this issue, the National LGBT Cancer Network is hosting a webinar featuring Angie’s story and lived experience alongside a panel of experts and advocates. This webinar will explore the intersectional LGBTQI+ experience with tobacco and where we go from here, and will be held virtually in late February. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive updates on the time and date for this event!
The Tips From Former Smokers campaign also stresses the importance of readily-available cessation resources, which are essential for members of LGBTQI+ communities who are looking to quit. Materials and links are available directly from the CDC and at smokefree.gov. We also encourage you to read former smoker stories, take steps towards quitting, and learn more about smoking as a social justice issue on our Out Proud Free and OutLast Tobacco sites, which are available at http://cancer-network.org.
This statement is available online here.
The National LGBT Cancer Network works to improve the lives of LGBTQI+ cancer survivors and those at risk by educating the LGBTQI+ communities about our increased cancer risks; training health care providers; and advocating for LGBTQI+ engagement in mainstream cancer organizations. Learn more at cancer-network.org.