Of the more than 2 million LGBT young adults in the U.S., more than 800,000 smoke occasionally. That’s nearly half. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has launched a new campaign, “This Free Life,” to reduce that number and help prevent the loss of tens of thousands LGBT lives to tobacco use each year.
“This Free Life” uses authentic messaging in a mix of print and digital ads as well as local outreach. The tagline, “Freedom to Be, Tobacco-Free,” speaks to LGBT youth’s resiliency and passion to live a liberated life. The $35.7 million effort (the FDA’s largest LGBT-specific campaign — funded by user fees collected from the tobacco industry, not by taxpayer dollars) also has a strong social media component with videos from drag queens and YouTubers.
There are numerous factors that contribute to the higher risk for tobacco use among LGBT young adults, reports the FDA, including the stresses of “coming out” (actual and perceived social stigma, family rejection, etc.) and the fact that many LGBT young adults can find a sense of community at LGBT bars and clubs, where tobacco use can be prevelant.
To learn more about “This Free Life,” click here.