The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

Sexual Orientation and Reproductive Health

By Emilia Dunham

Program Associate, National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

Another presentation occurred at Fenway Health’s Population Center Conference in Boston was led by Charlotte Patterson, Ph.D, Department of Psychology at University of Virginia presented on “Sexual Orientation and Reproductive Health.”

Charlotte Patterson

Charlotte iterated that reproductive Health is mostly discussed within a heteronormative framework especially in reference to STD/HIV prevention of contraceptive practices, but as Patterson states, it should be the “ability to have or to not have children, at a time of one’s choosing, with partner of one’s choosing.”

Parenthood is universally valued and enjoyed, even in the gay and lesbian community as nearly as many gay and lesbians have children as straight people.

Today, gay men typically come out before adopting, and older gay men are likely to have children after coming out through a prior heterosexual relationship.  On the other hand, lesbian mothers mostly became parents through prior heterosexual relationship by all age groups.

During the presentation, there was a fabulous discussion on tobacco use in the LGBT community.  In the context of the topic, as we know, GLBT people have significantly higher smoking rates, which would negatively affect health of children.  One attendee offered a statistic that LGBT parents are more likely to smoke.

Two invited respondents, Steve Safren and Ruben Hopwood of Fenway Health, discussed their experiences as LGBT parents. They spoke about the importance of and risks to friends, community and quality of lifeas a result of raising children.  Transgender data is absent even in LGBT surveys, insurance coverage and service is nearly absent.

Ultimately, more work needs to be done in terms of access to healthcare, GLBT-inclusive policies and research on LGBT families.  However, like the earlier presentations, there are several fascinating points to consider.

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July 8, 2010 Posted by | Presentations | Leave a comment

Population Center Presentions on LGBT Aging and Disabilities

By Emilia Dunham

Program Associate, National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

This morning I had the privilege of attending the Keynote address of Fenway Health’s Population Center‘s presentations by Brian DeVries “LGBT Persons in the Second Half of Life” followed by a Lisa Iezzoni talk on “Disabilities and Chronic Conditions.

Brian deVries

From Brian’s talk, I learned that though there are over 2 millions LGBT elderly, many are closeted largely due to their experience of discrimination and violence. It seems that stigma as well as unequal laws has dramatic effects on LGBT elderly. As a result, many LGBT people have depression and are more fearful for dying in pain alone or receiving discrimination. Unsurprisingly, they are also more likely to use alcohol and tobacco, however they are more likely to suffer from cancer perhaps due to less access to validating health care. Compared to the general population, GLBT elderly are more likely to rely on friends rather than family or spouses for end of life treatment in part because loss of familial contacts as a result of coming out.

Some of Brian’s recommendations are to include questions on age, sexual orientation and gender identity in national surveys, have more studies on LGBT elderly and ask the same questions of LGBT as the general population.

After Brian’s talk, Lisa Iezzoni led a provocative talk on “Disabilities and Chronic Conditions” where she addressed the commonly ignored Elephant-in-the-Room topic of disabilities. Most people will know of a friend of loved one who is or will have a disability, yet there is little knowledge of the subject. Even with the protective American with Disabilities Act, many bus drivers and building managers ignore persons with disabilities rather than installing a ramp.

Interestingly, the issue of disabilities have changed over time. For instance in the early part of the 20th century, the use of a stethoscope created distance and allowed physicians to become the arbiters of who was eligible for social services. Around this time, disabilities was seen as a problem of the individual much like sexual orientation, but by the 60s and 70s disability was seen as a societal human rights problem.

There are known health disparities for people with disabilities in that they are less likely  to be asked by health providers about contraception, mammograms, pap smears, or smoking history (smoking is considered to help alleviate stress of their conditions). Yet, people with disabilities are 37% more likely to die from lung cancer because are less likely to be encouraged to access preventative surgeries.

Her recommendations were to correct problematic terms like “confined to a wheelchair” and “wheelchair bound” but switch to more appropriate term of “wheelchair user.” Beyond the individual level, public transportation as well as health centers should add proper equipment, which would also reduce long-term costs.

Lisa Iezzoni, Lisa Krinsky, Jennifer Potter, Brian deVries

In both presentations, I noticed experience through the generations has formulated opinions and behaviors on health.  For instance, growing up in the “Baby Boomer” generation has led to a strong, independent attitude making it difficult for elderly people with disabilities to not reach out for help.  Similarly, for LGBT people, living through several generations where being gay was criminal and a psychiatric condition led to increased stigma, loss of family connections. Invited Respondant Lisa Krinsky of the LGBT Again Project echoed the historical perspective’s need for including LGBT aging in current conversations and made the connection that both persons with disabilities and LGBT people are ignored and not served.

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

US Social Forum: Final Thoughts

Andrea Quijada, Executive Director, Media Literacy Project

As Media Literacy Project staff members begin to integrate our experiences and knowledge gained from the US Social Forum into our programs, we wanted to share with all of you some of the thoughts that will inform our work this coming year:

  • LGBTQI communities need access to media tools. However, media policies are being written as you read this blog, media policies that have huge implications for our daily lives. One example of such media policies has to do with the need for Net Neutrality—the need for a free Internet. Without Net Neutrality, queer health websites (like this one) could be blocked by Internet providers! We encourage all of you to join the Media Action Grassroots Network. Join us in telling the FCC that we need a free and open Internet.
  • Queer communities must address multiple oppressions in order to strengthen our movement. LGBTQI leadership, from the local to national level, must represent—both in presence and in analysis—the breadth of our communities. Our movement needs LGBTQI working-class, people of color, people with disabilities, and non-English speakers in leadership roles.
  • An increase of responsible speech in our media systems would have positive impacts on the queer community. We hope that all LGBTQI organizations join the National Hispanic Media Coalition in urging the FCC to conduct a report on the impact of hate speech on various oppressed communities. MLP strongly believes that journalists and news reporters must be responsible with their messages and with their framing of stories in order to increase understanding and accuracy in articles and programs.
  • The quality of our health impacts our abilities to tell our stories, and our stories must be heard.  Our stories are our histories, our culture, our identities, and our influence. In addition, healthy communities are a fundamental outcome of media justice.
  • Media must be defined broadly because media are rooted in culture. A dance, a song, a poem—each is a form of media. We must elevate forms of media that best speak to and reflect the communities we come from, are part of, and work in.

July 8, 2010 Posted by | USSF, USSF_mlp | Leave a comment

TCN Strategies for Smoke-Free Air Policy Implementation

The Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium (TTAC) held their second webinar in the 2010 Tobacco Control Network (TCN) series this week, “TCN Strategies for Smoke-Free Air Policy Implementation,” titled “The Devils in the Details: Achieving the New Gold Standard in Smoke-free Policies.”

The call focused on helping participants Identify the updated or new provisions in model smoke-free air legislation, Understand the rationale for current model, Determine what provisions are essential (deal breakers) for effective, enforceable smoke-free air legislation, and Apply lessons learned from case studies to recognize challenges that need to be addressed in your state or community

The list of speakers included:

  • Bronson Frick
    Associate Director, Americans for Non-Smokers Rights Foundation
  • Maggie Mahoney, JD
    Deputy Director, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium
  • Sally Herndon, MPH
    Head, Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch, North Carolina Division of Public Health
  • Jim D. Martin, MA
    Director of Policy and Programs, Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch, North Carolina Division of Public Health
  • Sharon R. Biggers, MPH, CHES
    Director, Division of Tobacco Prevention and Control, South Carolina

The call focused a lot around the ANR Model Ordinance and the evolution of the document throughout the years… from smoking sections in the 80’s to 100% smoke-free policies now.

One main take away message from the call was to “Plan before you act… don’t put the cart before the horse”. I think this is so true no matter what type of project you’re working on. Many times we get so excited, we have people ready to act and work on a new project or campaign and we just dive in with excitement. Having a great group ready to act is a great thing but, it is always better to plan your attack. Especially in today’s climate with the tobacco industry using new tactics to derail our efforts. Check out this page to view ANR’s What to Expect from the Tobacco Industry

When we are talking about smoke-free air legislation, Bronson noted that ANR’s Guiding Principles, Fundamentals of Smoke-Free Workplace Laws document great place to start!

When developing your language they also suggest to start with ANR model language and then amend to include more state specific language with partners at the table.

In his presentation he addressed the following:

  • Agree on “dealbreakers”
  • Be realistic about resources
  • State with a strong grass roots base
  • Start with Model Policy language
  • Include expert advisors
  • Importance of broad-based community support

He said it is important Agree on deal breakers & Key Principals early in process

Put decisions in writing…

Once you get your main players at the table work out a plan. Sometimes you might have additional partners join later, or staff changes throughout the process so it is good to have everything in writing so that everyone can be on the same page always. In addition, determine your deal breakers; ANR has created Determining Your Dealbreakers page to assist in this process.

View ANR’s Model Ordinance, this document is updated almost yearly to continue to offer the most up to date resources for your work.

Some key updates in the current version included definitions of

  • E-Cigs
  • Restaurants/Bar Patios
  • Penalties/Enforcement

In addition there are other issues to watch for such as:

  • 100% smokefree hotels
  • Medical Marijuana SHS
  • Other Emerging Issues

One main thing of interest was the new hot topic of Electronic Cigarettes.

While there is some scientific evidence showing that E-Cigarettes are not a healthy product, there is still very little scientific evidence to support any secondhand smoke or vapor can be harmful. The new ordinance showcases some of the findings and the reason why they are being included in enforcement activities etc.

The definition of smoking has been amended to include e-cigarettes.

“E-cigarette” any electronic oral device, such as one composed of a heating element, battery, and/or electronic circuit, which provides a vapor of nicotine or any other substances, and the use or inhalation of which simulates smoking. The term shall include any such device, whether manufactured, distributed, marketed, or sold as an e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe, or under any other product name or descriptor.

Also, if you are working on Hookah they noted focusing on the language stating “heated tobacco or plant products intended for inhalation” can encompass hookahs.

TTAC has uploaded all of the materials from the call to their site. To view the supporting materials, speaker’s bios, and presentations you can visit:

Or click the links below:

In addition to the great presentation resources, I wanted to let you all know that The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids released an updated Special Report on Smoke-Free Laws Protecting Our Right to Breath Clean Air this month. This is another great resource I think you all might find useful!

ALSO, don’t forget to view the Networks LGBT People and Smoke-Free Air factsheet.

Gustavo

 

July 8, 2010 Posted by | Resources, Tobacco Policy, webinar | Leave a comment

   

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