Ohio tries to reduce smoking rates among queer teens


Try as they might, straight campaigns against smoking don't seem to be working on gay teens.
The Ohio Department of Health plans to spend up to $60,000 to help reduce smoking rates among gay and lesbian teens. It’s a small part of a $1.6 million federal grant it has to address chronic health issues in the state. But the money goes after a big problem. Nationwide, supposedly 59 percent of queer teens smoke. How the feds came up with that percentage is anyone’s guess, since it’s impossible to survey a population where half are still in the closet. But the feds nonetheless estimate that queer teens light up more than double the rate of their breeder counterparts… “What we’re really trying to figure out,” says ODH spokesman Kristopher Weiss, “is what type of message or campaign can reach the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender communities. The mainstream messages are having problems reaching this group.” Apparently, those grainy advertisements with an old woman smoking through her trachea aren’t fabulous enough for the LGBT community. – Bradley Campbell


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