The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

Tips for how to get health promotion messages into LGBT blogs

By Scout
Director
Network for LGBT Health Equity
A project of The Fenway Institute, Boston, MA
Reporting from Netroots Nation LGBT Pre-Conference, Minneapolis, MN
 

It's a packed room of bloggers and LGBT orgs at the Netroots LGBT Pre-Conf

We all have to build new skills

Remember just last year when many state dept of health folk were blocked from Facebook, Twitter and other social media? Well, perhaps because the feds have set a standard of using social media for their routine promotion work, we all now realize that Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter… all these are tools we will need to understand and use in order to ace health promotion work in this new era.

Well, despite the fact that you are reading this on a blog, don’t think we’re not as overwhelmed with all these new media as everyone else. We’re trying our hardest to learn how to use these new tools effectively. But boy it’s a lot.

Many of you know, lots of our LGBT print media has already gone out of business, some have switched to an all online format, some have just folded. This struggle is one of the reasons why the print media is really susceptible when folks like RJR Reynolds start pumping SNUS ads. Like happened in Minnesota, it’s often a real challenge to get the magazine or newspaper to refuse these ads in todays world. Face it, this is one of the main reasons why we have to struggle to raise awareness that we have health disparities like our crazy high smoking rate. It’s long past time for us to take some tips from major corporations and start being more savvy about how to get healthy messages integrated into LGBT media. But how do we do it with a fraction of their funding?

So, you know we’re at this Netroots LGBT Pre-Conf today… I’m listening avidly to all the many LGBT bloggers in the room. Let me share a bit of what I’ve learned about smart strategies for getting those healthy messages into LGBT online media.

First, what are the bigger LGBT blogs?

It’s a little hard to figure out exact readership, and some focus more on social versus serious messaging, but at least each of these LGBT blogs should be on our radar screens.

Tips for getting coverage in LGBT blogs

  1. Buy ads in them! Yes, the blogs are absolutely independent, but this is one way to start building a relationship which helps get your news noticed.
  2. Offer to write for a blog. One of the big ones, Bilerico.com is actively seeking new contributors now, go on, sign up, one way to get health covered is to write the posts ourselves.
  3. Repost their stories on Twitter/FB, comment on the stories online, just start engaging with them.
  4. Make a short list of the editors of each of those blogs and send them press releases whenever you think somethink is news. Don’t worry if it’s not national, local is ok too. Pics help too.
  5. Give bloggers scoops or first rights to breaking news, this is one fast way to build a relationship.
  6. Write op-eds about health issues and submit them to blogs (customize them for each submission). See some of the op-eds we put up on the IOM report to see a sample of style.
  7. Did I mention buy ads on them? This seems to be a seriously underutilized strategy. Yet some of the blogs above get 40k views/day… that’s a lot of eyeballs we’d like to have reading our health messages, right?

Many of these strategies will work just as well for your local LGBT media as well. And many of them can be real smart strategies for health departments or hospitals to use as a way to demonstrate that your services are LGBT-friendly.

OK, now off I go to try to put some of these strategies into action!

Advertisements

June 15, 2011 Posted by | Action Alerts, APHA, Blogs en español, Break Free Alliance, CPPW, Creating Change, Creating Change 2010, Creating Change 2011, Minnesota, National Coalition for LGBT Health, NatNet, Presentations, Puerto Rico, Resources, Scholarship Opportunity, social media, Steering Committee, Tobacco Policy, two_spirit_wellness, Uncategorized, USSF, USSF_mlp, webinar | , , , | Leave a comment

Tobacco Trends in Next Five Years

by Scout
Director, National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

Examples of the 17% of cigs that don't have appropriate tax labels.

Hey y’all, we’re at the closing plenary of the CDC tobacco conference listening to Dr. Andrew Highland give an update of tobacco trends over the next five years. Let me try to match this guys speedtalking with some speednotetaking, ok? (and mucho gracias to him for the visuals in this post).

Tobacco Trends in Next Five Years

  1. More taxes! Currently my tiny home state, lil Rhody, leads the country in cig taxes with a lovely $3.46/pack tax. But… seems like we’re behind the world on average and sincethey’ve found this is one of themost effective tools to help motivate folk to quit, we’re gonna see more and more. Now if they’d just also use the money for cessation, or even just public health bans.
  2. More tax evasion and illegal cigarette commerce. Interesting concept, eh? The speaker gave the example that if he took the rear seats out of his minivan then loaded it with cigarettes from a tax free state then took them to NY, he’d clear about $25k in one run. And as he noted, the penalties are relatively minor. In fact, in a recent study they found that 17% of a representative sample of submitted cigarette packs didn’t have their appropriate tax stamps.
  3. More clean indoor air policies – again to reiterate the main point of the recent Institute of Medicine report, passing a good clean indoor air policy alone can disappear 1/5 of the heart attacks in the region. This is big, and how big it is is relatively new news to the health arena, so look for more work to get these strong policies passed everywhere.
  4. More comprehensive tobacco programs. We know they work, one example was in the 1st 15 yrs of CA tobacco control (ack, he changed the slide, what were those numbers??),

    Example of a store before and after retail ad ban.

    it cost oh (trying ot remember) about $11B and saved about $86B. (<- don’t quote me on that, but the proportions are close, and were those really Bs? Not Ms? I think so.)

  5. Quitting? Quitlines are cost effective, but most folk quit unaided. We should encourage quit attempts, reduce social acceptability of smoking, and focus on clean air policies. Pricing and clean indoor air policies are by far the most cost effective of all cessation activities.
  6. Youth smoking? Little evidence that school based education alone is effective. Little evidence that youth restrictions alone are effective. Policy changes affect youth too, in fact youth are more price sensitive than adults so we should really focus on this tool.
  7. FDA? Light and mild being banned this month. New labels coming in this month. They will also be ramping up enforcement all across the country. But… states can and still should be doing old-fashioned tobacco control. Limiting tobacco outlets and tobacco advertising is still a wide field of opportunity.
  8. What does this all mean for state tobacco control programs? Each state should have clean air, high prices, and a comprehensive program. But after that, there’s a lot of room to get creative. States can limit number of tobacco outlets; limit where ads are placed in a retail setting; and eliminate buy-one-get-one-free offers – these steps may really curb smoking. But, get your warchest in order because there will be legal challenges from you know who.

    Example of how the tobacco companies will convey "Light" cigs without using the newly banned word.

    (<-maybe some of the taxes should be set aside for the legal challenges.) What does the industry think of retail ad bans? Precedent from out of the U.S. shows they will counter with “research” showing ad bans promote organized crime and black market sales. (ask me for the link to the website they’ve created about this “research”, I’d prefer not to put it here.)

Some odd notes

  • On the coming ban on “Light” and “Mild” labeling. The industry is likely to replace the wording with things like “Ultra Smooth” or, in something that’s been shown to be effective, change their box colors so the lighter colors indicate the former “Light” cigarettes.
  • Check out “Urban Wave” on youtube or FB to see some examples of how the industry is creating ‘stealth’ marketing opportunities.

Conclusion

  • We’ve gotta think BIG! We still have 430k tobacco deaths/yr. We know lots of what works; high prices, clean air, and comprehensive programs all work! If you’ve got all that, explore the creative options beyond that. Look at this as an investment in your future, the payoff can be very large in terms of lives and cost-savings, and the faster you do it, the faster the payoff begins.

June 10, 2010 Posted by | CPPW | , , | 1 Comment

MPOWER…

Good Morning…

CAN I SAY WOW!

There has been so much great information shared at this conference. One of the sessions that I went to talked about MPOWER. This is another common term that is tossed around … like MAPPS this is another acronym that has been identified as a key strategy for our work… Older than MAPPS but still a commonly used acronym for our work…

MPOWER

Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies

Protect people from tobacco smoke

Offer help to quit tobacco use

Warn about the dangers of tobacco use

Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and Sponsorship

Raise taxes on tobacco

The presentation addressed Local Responsibility and noted local governments have a statutory responsibility to address tobacco use as a dominant threat to the health of their communities, especially among vulnerable populations such as:

  • Those experiencing tobacco-related disparities
  • Youth
  • Persons with lower levels of education
  • People with substance abuse issues

With that being said I wanted to share some points that focused on Aligning MPOWER policies and local public health accreditation domains

1. Monitor health status and understand health issues facing the community.

●● Local surveillance and analysis of tobacco use prevalence.

2. Protect people from health problems and health hazards.

●● Educate and inform decision-makers about the research on comprehensive clean indoor air legislation and enforce it when implemented.

3. Give people information they need to make healthy choices.

●● Use paid and earned media to educate and inform regarding the dangers of secondhand smoke, especially for children, lactating mothers, and people with compromised cardiac or respiratory health.

4. Engage the community to identify and solve health problems.

●● Develop or support community partnerships to address tobacco use.

5. Develop public health policies and plans.

●● Work with community partners to develop a county plan to address tobacco use including the adoption of evidence-based policies such as expanding smoking restrictions.

6. Enforce public health laws and regulations.

●● Conduct enforcement procedures with tobacco retailers to reduce unlawful tobacco sales to minors.

7. Help people receive health services.

●● Provide training and coordination among all healthcare providers in the county to promote brief cessation interventions and referrals.

8. Maintain a competent public health workforce.

●● Support the attendance of LHD staff at state and national tobacco control conferences and trainings.

9. Evaluate and improve programs and interventions.

●● Ensure that each tobacco control component is being evaluated and is helping the overall program achieve its goals and objectives.

10. Contribute to and apply the evidence base of public health.

●● Publish the results of local tobacco-related surveillance and program evaluation in peer-reviewed journals.

These are some of the main points I wanted to share with you all to digest at the moment hope I did not throw too much at you…

Gustavo

June 10, 2010 Posted by | CPPW | Leave a comment

HELLO FROM ATLANTA…

Hello From Atlanta….

As you may know Scout and I are currently at the CDC’s communities putting prevention to work: state and territory initiative conference.

Dr. Ursula Bauer’s opening remarks yesterday noted the importance of state and territories in chronic disease preventions has a valuable role to the communities they serve more than ever. Dr Bauer is the Director if the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She is charged with setting the direction for the Center’s “Winnable Battles” of tobacco use prevention, improved nutrition and physical activity, and prevention of teen and unintended pregnancy, as well as key priorities related to the leading causes of death.

Dr. Bauer talked about MAPPS strategies, this is the hot new buzz word that you might have heard on the streets and many of you “including myself” still do not fully understand all of the functions of the MAPPS strategies…

SO…. I have included some information for you all so we can continue to take some lessons on MAAPS and hopefully understand the breath and depth of MAPPS Strategies!

The following information is strait from CDC’s site on MAPPS Interventions…  I have also included a link to the site to see the entire MAAPS Interventions for Communities Putting Prevention to work. This great guide shows MAPPS Interventions for Tobacco, Nutrition, and Physical Activity!

MAPPS Interventions for Communities Putting Prevention to Work

Five evidence-based MAPPS strategies, when combined, can have a profound influence on improving health behaviors by changing community environments: Media, Access, Point of decision information, Price, and Social support/services. The evidence-based interventions below are drawn from the peer- reviewed literature as well as expert syntheses from the community guide and other peer-reviewed sources, cited below. Communities and states have found these interventions to be successful in practice. Awardees are expected to use this list of evidence-based strategies to design a comprehensive and robust set of strategies to produce the desired outcomes for the initiative.

http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/recovery/PDF/MAPPS_Intervention_Table.pdf

June 8, 2010 Posted by | CPPW | 1 Comment

Nutrition, physical activity & tobacco? Bring it on!

DNPAO

Using the bike to draw the interest of the diet and nutrition folk!

by Scout

Network Director

Doctuh Scout looking ever so "cool" at the CDC conference.

CDC’s Wellness Conference + hotmath

This is it folk, the first time ever CDC has convened not just the state tobacco control staff from around the country, but our new partners in the latest greatest health mashup, the nutrition and exercise folk too! So it seems like hot new math for health folk is the following.

Tobacco + Exercise + Nutrition = Wellness!!!

And of course ya really wanna understand the new math for health folk at a national and local level, it seems like maybe I should correct it to be the following.

(Tobacco + Exercise + Nutrition)policy = Wellness policy

Yup, it’s all about policy these days. Why? Well, after some great charts this morning (which I should write more about later) it seems to boil down like this… policy changes health behaviors in a way that all the good information in the world can’t seem to affect. Ok, take it even further, money appears to change health behavior in a way good information and intentions can’t. How? Well, for example we see that smoking rates are incredibly affected by taxes on cigarettes. One of the new things you might see coming to you soon are policy campaigns to add similar taxes to SSBs. Uh… what are they? Sugar Sweetened Beverages. Seems like folk are getting a crazy amount of their calories from SSBs, and so taking lessons from the tobacco arena, public health folk are starting to push excise taxes for SSBs. While it seems like a small bit of the overall obesity epidemic, apparently SSBs are a pretty large lever to create some change.

DNPAO? Worst acronym ever!

But I gotta say one thing, the nutrition and exercise folks need some acronym help! DNPAO <- what in the world does that mean? Wait wait… people tell me it’s Diet Nutrition Physical Activity Obesity. Oh yah that rolls off the tongue. But then, being part of the LGBTQQIA block, um, I guess I can’t really be the one to register the complaint.

Working on Wellness? We want you too!

With Healthcare Reform and this recent $650M of state stimulus money on Wellness the feds put out, the emphasis on Wellness is only going to increase in the coming years. Which as public health folk, I’m sure we all will love. Face it, there’s something comforting about working on a prevention-based model, instead of our usual uh-oh-look-what-kinda-disasterous-effects-years-of bad-health-creates model. (<- I believe that’s its formal name) But – there’s no LGBT network for wellness (yet!). So… we really wanna link up these wellness folk too and help connect them with the LGBT experts like we do for tobacco. You can see the picture up there of the sign I just tacked on my bike that this conference, me shamelessly using the bike to try to get the attention of the state Wellness policymakers here. Cause come on everyone, this $650M of Wellness money alone means there’s big new projects in every single state, and we definitely want these folk to be including LGBT outreach and programs in those projects. I mean, especially if it’s all about policy these days, don’t tell me LGBTs don’t have deep policy inroads in every single state. (can you say civil rights battles?)

And hurry up already!

Ya know. I’m thinking about this new nutrition, exercise, and tobacco mix, and I’m thinking hmmmm… I’m the Director of the Network for LGBT Tobacco Control, and I’ve worked hard to get myself a kit where I can take my folding bike everywhere I go. Take it off the luggage carousel, take it outta the bag, put the bag on back and roll right away from the airport. Why? Well, main reason I usually give is that it’s near impossible to eat in hotels. As a vegetarian, you put me in a hotel and I’m stuck with white pasta and salads until I can get free and go get my own food. Of course, I also love my biking, it makes me happy. (don’t even ask me how many bikes I have). But so… let’s see, healthy eating, exercise and tobacco all rolled into one ball? Like maybe I could go to a meeting, get some vegetarian food at the hotel, find a bike lane on the street, and have it be in a tobacco-free city? Yes siree, let’s hurry up and get this work integrated everywhere! It’s a natural fit, and I’ve been waiting a long time for it.

June 8, 2010 Posted by | CPPW, NatNet, Tobacco Policy | , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: