The Network

for LGBT Tobacco Control

Tips for how to get health promotion messages into LGBT blogs

By Scout
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, 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!

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

American Lung Association: LGBT Smoking Report

by Emilia Dunham

Network Program Associate

On June 28th, I was privileged to participate in a webinar on the American Lung Association’s LGBT Smoking Report. Since data is dramatically lacking on LGBT smoking, this national survey was extremely important, so we can expect this research will have lasing implications! Below are some major points from the webinar:

Key findings:

  • Gay men 2-2.5x as straight men, women up to 2x
  • Bisexuals higher than both gay men and women
  • Lesbian and bisexual girls 9x higher than heterosexual girls
  • Still limited data on transgender individuals

Why is this important?

  • Most National and state surveys don’t ask for LGBT demographics
  • LGBT are more prone to smoke for a variety of reasons:
    • Stress related to homophobia/stigma
    • Lacking legal protections
    • Social pressure/bonding means smoking is normal in LGBT community
    • LGBT smoking ignored by the greater LGBT community
    • Targeting by tobacco industry
    • General tobacco cessation programs are not tailored to LGBT population
    • LGBT people are a perfect sample of the American population, stretching across all ethnicities, socio-economic statuses, ages, etc.

Taking Action: What’s needed and what can you do to help?

  • Improve data collection and reporting on tobacco use in the LGBT community
  • Direct LGBT funding to tobacco cessation
  • Disseminate results of this and similar surveys to media organizations, anti-tobacco and LGBT groups
  • Collaborate with other groups experiencing tobacco disparity rates; explore racial/ethnic disparity intersection
  • Need for cultural competency

July 19, 2010 Posted by | Resources, Uncategorized | , , | 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.



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

Resource Recap: June Edition

Our June resource recap kicks off with two articles that hit quite close to home, featured in the American Journal of Public Health.

This month's cover of the American Journal of Public Health focuses on systems modeling in tobacco control,

A systems analysis examined the cross-collaborations of five of the six national tobacco disparity networks, including us! The examination concluded that, “statistical network modeling promises to be a useful tool for understanding how public health systems such as networks and coalitions can be used to improve the nation’s health.” The 2nd article featured the state the Network calls home: Massachusetts. LGBT disparities are highlighted through high quality state data from 2001-2008, concluding a 2x to 2.4x higher rate of  smoking for lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women.

A new study published online last month in Nicotine & Tobacco Research shows that menthol cigarettes are more addictive than general tobacco, with potentially increased oral exposure to carcinogens among users of menthol-flavored cigarettes and chewing tobacco.  CNN also recently debated the idea of the implications of banning menthol tobacco products altogether.  Kaiser Health News addresses the effects of prevention in health care reform utilizing tobacco as an example is worth a look too!

March's issue of AIDS and Behavior examines the relationship of mortality and smoking with PLWHA.

HIV data and its implications were also a highlight in resources this month.  A 12-year study on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Seattle was included in March’s issue AIDS and Behavior. Conclusions released compared never smokers to current smokers, finding individuals with an increased dose and/or duration of smoking at greater risk of all-cause mortality. Suggestions included further research on the matter and tailored cessation for PLWHA. The Center of Excellence for Transgender HIV Prevention also released “Recommendations for Inclusive Data Collection of Trans People in HIV Prevention, Care, and Services,” examining the issue of reliable inclusion of the transgender population in HIV data collection. Topics include questions to ask, helpful implementation of data collection, and resource assistance.

Lastly, Sexual Minority Youth were found to be more likely to have had acute respitorary illnesses than smokers in general. Particularly,  gay/lesbian smokers were more likely to have had strep throat, and bisexual smokers were more likely to have had sinus infection, asthma, and bronchitis. Hopefully the cyber resource trend like the one John Craig, MSW is hopping on will help combat this discourse: internet smoking cessation. Several of his internet radio programs focus on smoking-cessation projects and anti-tobacco initiatives around the country. Topics range from  political campaigns and anti-tobacco lobbying efforts to interviews and discussions designed for smokers themselves — if they are trying to quit or stay quit.  Click here to learn how to access the recordings and help stay ahead of the trend.

This will be my last resource recap, but be sure to tune in later on this summer when our new Program Associate, Emilia Dunham, will take over ship!

-Sasha aka queerthanqueer

June 18, 2010 Posted by | Resources | Leave a comment

Network hosting June 8th Webinar on HIV and Tobacco. Register today!

The Network, in conjunction with the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, will be hosting an interactive webinar on tobacco and HIV this Tuesday June 8th from 2pm-330pm EST. Please join host Shannon Murphy for a dialogue on the effects of tobacco on individuals living with HIV/AIDS and the importance of cessation within this population. There will also be ample time allotted to share stories, network, and collaborate on the call. You can register for the webinar here.

Our Sharing Our Lessons on HIV and Tobacco Cessation


  • Danielle Grospitch is a certified tobacco treatment specialist for Tobacco-Free Lake County Illinois. She recently presented at the Promising Practices: Acheiving Health and Social Equity in Tobacco Control conference in New Orleans on tobacco use in HIV populations. She will sharing her knowledge on how tobacco use affects treatment and disease progression for the  50%-70% of HIV-positive individuals who use tobacco.
  • Featured in our most recent issue of Sharing Our Lessons, Barbara Warren Psy. D., CASAC, CPP will be discussing her involvement in the groundbreaking cessation program for people living with HIV/AIDS established at the LGBT Center of New York City.

You can register here and we look forward to your participation!

June 3, 2010 Posted by | Presentations, Resources | , , | 2 Comments

Resource Recap: Emerging information in LGBT Tobacco Disparities

The Network will be posting links to new publications and articles regarding LGBT tobacco disparities.  Check out what this year has offered us so far!

In the media…

Big tobacco’s role in denying us rights is highlighted in the Advocate, exposing how tobacco money helped the anti-marriage campaign in Maine this past November.

California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership Ad

Premiered at this past December’s Gay and Lesbian Leadership Institute, the California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership produced an ad saluting 40 LGBT elected officials who have signed a statement that they will not accept tobacco industry contributions.

Check out the media release from our neighbors north of the border, the Canadian Cancer promoting smoke-free lifestyles in Ontario’s lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.

The Iowa Family Policy Center released a statement last month that same-sex marriage is more

destructive than smoking. Wait until you see how they validate their argument.

Much discussion has been brewing regarding emerging trends in smokeless tobacco.  Check out what 60 Minutes, the New York Times, and CNN had to report on the issue.

In research…

Menthol cigarettes are highly addictive with negative consequences, despite popular misconceptions

Tobacco use was linked to worse outcomes in HPV-positive head and neck cancer. according to a  University of Michigan study, suggesting that more aggressive treatment regimines be implemented with current or former tobacco consumers.

Wake Forest University researchers published a study showing that self-identified gay male college students were 3.27 times more likely to have smoked cigarettes n the last 30 days than straight college men.

Results released in the Journal of Pediatrics last month concluded that smoking has negative implications for the distress of LGB youths, especially those reporting high levels of stress or few supports, suggesting the incorporation smoking cessation in interventions and supportive services for LGB youth to “maximally alleviate distress.”

A new study published in the current issue of the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research reports that menthol smokers are more likely to believe that menthol cigarettes have medicinal properties and that menthol cigarettes are less hazardous than regular cigarettes.

April 28, 2010 Posted by | Resources | Leave a comment

Funding Opportunities

Title: Network Infrastructure Support for Emerging Behavioral and Social Research Areas in Aging
The purpose of this program is to provide infrastructure support in specific emerging interdisciplinary areas of behavioral and social research in aging using the NIH Resource-Related Research Project mechanism. The infrastructure support will facilitate research networks through meetings, conferences, small scale pilots, training, and dissemination to encourage growth and development in specified emerging areas and resources.
Link to Full Announcement: LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT
Last Day to Apply: September 7, 2010
Number of Grants Available: See Full Announcement
Grant is administered by the: National Institutes of Health

Title: Health Disparities in NIDDK Diseases
Description: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) seek research to understand and mitigate issues of health disparities in high priority diseases within their scope, including diabetes, obesity, nutrition-related disorders, hepatitis C, gallbladder disease, H. Pylori infection, sickle cell disease, kidney diseases, urologic diseases, hematologic diseases, metabolic, gastrointestinal, hepatic, and renal complications from infection with HIV.NINR promotes and improves the health of individuals, families, communities, and populations, supports and conducts clinical and basic research and research training on health and illness across the lifespan.
Link to Full Announcement: LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT
Last Day to Apply: September 7, 2012
Number of Grants Available: See Full Announcement
Grant is administered by the: National Institutes of Health

Title: Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy

Description: The ultimate goal of this program announcement is to encourage empirical research on health literacy concepts, theory, and interventions as these relate to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services public health priorities that are outlined in its Healthy People initiative. Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.
Link to Full Announcement: LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT
Last Day to Apply: May 7, 2013
Number of Grants Available: See Full Announcement
Grant is administered by the: National Institutes of Health

Title: Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities
Description: The purpose of this grant is to encourage behavioral and social science research on the causes and solutions to health and disabilities disparities in the U.S. population. Health disparities between, on the one hand, racial/ethnic populations, lower socioeconomic classes, and rural residents and, on the other hand, the overall U.S. population are major public health concerns. Emphasis is placed on research in and among three broad areas of action: 1) public policy, 2) health care, and 3) disease/disability prevention.
Link to Full Announcement: LINK TO FULL ANNOUNCEMENT
Last Day to Apply: May 11, 2013
Number of Grants Available: See Full Announcement
Grant is administered by the: National Institutes of Health

April 28, 2010 Posted by | Resources | Leave a comment


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