ACS CAN volunteers attend Pride events to collect support for stronger tobacco control legislation
June 27, 2019
ACS CAN volunteers attended many Pride events across the country in June in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month.
At the events, volunteers helped raise awareness about the dangerous impact tobacco has had on the LGBTQ community. Tobacco companies have disproportionally targeted LGBTQ individuals and because of their efforts, a larger proportion of LGBTQ people smoke compared to the national average. More people smoking mean more people dealing with the burden of addiction and disease from cigarettes and other tobacco products.
At the Pride events, ACS CAN volunteers asked Pride attendees to show their support for stronger tobacco control legislation by signing a petition urging Congress to:
Prohibit the flavoring of tobacco products.
Raise the federal age of sale for tobacco products to 21
Restrict ads for e-cigarettes.
And, increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s office for tobacco prevention and cessation.
In Ohio, volunteers attended Columbus Pride and collected over 700 signatures on ACS CAN’s tobacco petition that they will share with Ohio members of Congress.
Ohio State Lead Ambassador Julie Turner was at the event and said, “It was an outstanding event with such acceptance and love shown at every turn. I was struck by the compassion and concern from attendees and their desire to learn about our organization and to take action.”
In Tennessee, Michael Holtz, the Tennessee State Lead Ambassador, helped staff a sunscreen station at Knoxville Pride Fest to help protect people from skin cancer. Michael and the other ACS CAN volunteers also spoke to Pride attendees about the need for stronger tobacco control legislation. He said many people who signed the petition are current or former smokers who talked about how they became addicted to smoking as teens.
And in Idaho, ACS CAN staff and volunteers attended Boise Pride. In this video, they talk to a Pride attendee to learn more about what she is doing to help curb tobacco addiction in her community.