The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dumped $35.7 million into an anti-smoking campaign called “This Free Life” aimed at getting members of the LGBT community to stop smoking.
The $35.7 million was collected from the tobacco industry in the form of user fees. The FDA’s anti-smoking campaign videos feature drag queens, people “coming out” as homosexual or transgender, and LGBT people out partying at clubs.
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According to a statement released by the FDA regarding the anti-smoking campaign, young gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people are more likely to smoke than young adults outside LGBT circles:
“LGBT young adults are nearly two times as likely to use tobacco as other young adults, resulting in tens of thousands of LGBT lives being lost to tobacco use each year. Through This Free Life, FDA’s ultimate goal is to reduce disease, disability, and death related to tobacco use among LGBT young adults.”
If the FDA is so concerned with the wellbeing of those in the LGBT community, smoking cigarettes should be the least of their concerns. Just look at these statistics from the CDC:
Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV. In 2010, young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24 years) accounted for 72% of new HIV infections among all persons aged 13 to 24, and 30% of new infections among all gay and bisexual men. At the end of 2011, an estimated 500,022 (57%) persons living with an HIV diagnosis in the United States were gay and bisexual men, or gay and bisexual men who also inject drugs.
By the end of 2011, an estimated 311,087 gay and bisexual men with AIDS had died in the United States since the beginning of the epidemic, representing 47% of all deaths of persons with AIDS.
And remember, they make up just 2% of the U.S. population, and most who wind up with HIV and AIDS – neither of which has anything to do with smoking tobacco – are from that 2% of the population.