We Breathe Releases its Policy Platform: “Tobacco Control: An Intersectional Approach”

We Breathe is excited to announce the release of its Policy Platform “Tobacco Control: An Intersectional Approach.” The purpose of the California Tobacco Control Program’s Policy Platform is for jurisdictions to guide what policies work for each priority population such as LGBTQ+, African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, etc. However, data does not exist for us to answer that question for LGBTQ+ people. After completing a comprehensive literature review, reviewing hundreds of LGBTQ+ tobacco industry documents, and reviewing state funded tobacco research projects no research institution or Tobacco Related Disease Research Project (TRDRP) has conducted research on how policies such as outdoor dining bans, flavor tobacco bans, multi-unit housing bans, etc. have impacted LGBTQ+ tobacco use, nor has research been done to review how such bans may negatively and unintentionally harm LGBTQ+ communities.

Instead, what you will find in this document are community voices based on Key Information Interviews, Public Intercept Surveys, Gallery Walks, and LGBTQ+ coming out timelines (funded by TRDRP) that provide recommendations for systemic environmental changes, cultural sensitivity/humility, funding recommendations, and more. As California rolls out the Tobacco Endgame goals, LGBTQ+ communities are still under-resourced and struggling to reduce tobacco use rates to that of the general population; our community has yet to meet prior state tobacco use rate goals. To address this and ensure that LGBTQ+ communities are not left behind again as California seeks to extinguish tobacco use rates of the general community by 2035, our communities need funders and policy makers to focus more on social determinants of health, provide access to comprehensive behavioral health services within trusted LGBTQ+ organizations, and focus on the extreme homophobia and transphobia experienced by LGBTQ+ communities from childhood, adulthood, and as senior citizens. Until we address the root cause of tobacco usage within LGBTQ+ communities , our communities will continue to experience an 8x (or more) higher tobacco-usage rate compared to their cisgender/straight peers.

You can view the full Policy Platform HERE or directly download it using this link!