Cigarette Companies Target LGBTs

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cigarette Companies Target LGBTs

The presence of LGBT themes in cigarette ads surprised a crowd of people at a workshop during the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference at the University of Michigan last month. Because LGBT people are more likely to smoke cigarettes, the industry has responded accordingly.

According to the American Legacy Foundation, sexual minorities are 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to smoke cigarettes. Bisexual women are up to 3.5 times more likely to be smokers.

Cigarette companies strive to associate with LGBT people - but not to come across as a pro-LGBT company, said Jaime Tam, who presented the "Big Tobacco and the LGBT Community" workshop. "They (want) to protect their image in the eyes of the general public."

Tam said that tobacco ads are purposefully sexually ambiguous - featuring, for example, two men and a woman so that it's unclear who the primary male is attracted to. . .

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