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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Tobacco industry marketing to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations: Strategies for mainstream tobacco control and prevention

Lisa M. Carlson, MPH, CHES, Rollins School of Public Health, TTAC, Emory University, 513 Bridlewood Circle, Decatur, GA 30030, 404-712-8556, lcarlso@sph.emory.edu, Perry Stevens, MPA, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Tobacco Technical Assitance Consortium, 1518 Clifton Road NR GCR 808, Atlanta, GA 30322, and Johanna M Hinman, MPH, CHES, Rollins School of Public Health, Dept of Environmental and Occupational Health, Emory University, 1518 Clifton Rd., NE, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Existing research on tobacco use among adults consistently shows a higher prevalence among lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender (LGBT) populations than among the general population, yet reasons why are largely unknown. Consideration of these reasons, as well as identification of strategies for changing the rates, is critical. As with other priority populations, an examination of tobacco industry marketing techniques provides some insight. Tobacco industry marketing tactics came to light when the industry was legally forced to share its internal documents as part of the provisions of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). After this, the American Legacy Foundation uncovered the tobacco industry marketing campaign called Project SCUM, aimed at gays and the homeless. As revealed by the formerly-secret documents, specific tobacco industry marketing toward LGBT populations may partially account for higher smoking rates among the LGBT communities as it has increased in the wake of MSA-imposed advertising bans towards youth, while companies remain unfettered to advertise to LGBT and other populations. The industry reaches out to LGBT persons through direct and indirect advertising, community outreach and sponsorships. Messages to LGBT have been relatively absent from advertising until recently, so these persons are receptive to such overtures. Reducing the high rate of LGBT smoking will mean public health challenges, but also exceeding the sense of validation tobacco advertising has created in the communities. This presentation will review the current research on LGBT tobacco use, examine industry marketing techniques, and suggest strategies for tobacco control and prevention.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of this presentation, the learner will be able to

    Keywords: Tobacco Control, Sexuality

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

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