Phoenix organization says flavored tobacco targets LGBTQ+ kids

By Connor Van Ligten

A Phoenix-based coalition is seeking to advocate for the banning of flavored tobacco, arguing that youths who identify as LGBTQ+ are disproportionately targeted by tobacco companies via flavored products. 

In 2020, 25.1% of LGBTQ youth used electronic cigarettes, including flavored tobacco. The state of Arizona does not have a ban on flavored tobacco products, but limits the sale of e-cigarettes to those 18 and older. 

The Flavors Hook Kids Coalition in Phoenix, as a result, is aiming to stop the sale of flavored tobacco and menthol products to LGBTQ youth in Arizona, who the organization says is targeted disproportionately by advertising. 

The Phoenix City Council is currently reviewing an ordinance that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco in the state of Arizona - a ban that Flavors Hooks Kids supports.

"Due to targeted marketing, the LGBTQ community uses tobacco products at a disproportionately higher rate than the general population,”  said Gabriel Glissmeyer, Project Specialist and National LGBT Cancer Network member.

When targeted marketing is mixed with systemic oppression of LGBTQ people, it’s a deadly combination. Flavored tobacco also poses a serious health threat in our community.

“Studies have found that LGBTQ people are more likely to use menthol tobacco products than non-LGBTQ people,” Glissmeyer continued. “It’s so important for LGBTQ community members to learn about the history of tobacco marketing in our communities and the impact those products have on our ability to achieve health equity.”

More information at flavorshookkids.org

Download the guide to the campaign here.

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