A new federal ad campaign urges transgendered and gay Americans to stop smoking, warning that their lifestyle choices are no reason to choose to smoke cigarettes.
“I’ll be known for a lot of things, but I will never be known for wrinkled skin, yellow nails, smelly hair or a busted smile,” a group of drag queens say in one ad. “All caused by what? Smoking. Yes queen. Every cigarette is doing you damage.”
Another ad shows a young person explaining how he was “gendered” but would remain smoke free.
“I remember one time someone gendered me as male,” he says. “I just started to embrace it. I feel at peace with my body. I am here for the long run, I want to stay.”
The campaign also targets gay and lesbian smokers, featuring same sex couples explaining why they chose to be free from tobacco.
The campaign will spend $35.7 million to spread the message to LGBT Americans through print and digital ads and outdoor signs.
“We know LGBT young adults in this country are nearly twice as likely to use tobacco as other young adults,” said the Federal Drug Administration’s Mitch Zeller in a release. “We want LGBT young adults to know that there is no safe amount of smoking. Even an occasional cigarette can have serious health implications and lead to addiction.”
The FDA release warns that the “perceived social stigma, discrimination and anxiety” from the coming out process shows that more LGBT adults use tobacco.
“Research also indicates that many LGBT young adults can find a sense of community at LGBT bars and clubs, which sometimes provide environments conducive to tobacco use,” the release notes.
The campaign urges LGBT Americans to enjoy their new found freedoms without smelling like tobacco.
“This new life, free from judgment, free from the shadows, will also be free from tobacco,” the people in the ads declare.