A new health campaign in Los Angeles aims to reduce smoking among gays, lesbians and bisexuals. Smoking rates are 50 percent higher in this community, compared with heterosexuals.
The Los Angeles Times reports gay, lesbian and bisexual adults suffer disproportionately from the effects of tobacco use. According to the American Cancer Society, 30,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual smokers die from tobacco-related causes annually in the United States.
The “Break Up With Tobacco Campaign” features a group of young men called the Break Up Squad, who will spread the anti-smoking message on social media outlets and at nightclubs and gyms.
At an event Thursday to announce the campaign, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky criticized tobacco companies that target the gay community through advertising and promotions. “This is a health justice problem,” he said. “Tobacco companies are targeting you. They’re taking advantage of you.”
The California Department of Public Health reports smoking rates for gay, lesbian and bisexual Californians is 27.4 percent, compared with 12.9 percent among heterosexuals in the state.