Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Taking the Pledge Not to Accept Tobacco Money

This is a message from an email I received.

If you are interested in ways to pursued individuals, legislators and organizations to refuse Big Tobacco donations, here is a link to a power point provided by "The Last Drag," an LGBT anti-tobacco website, which has been successful in California. You may adapt their strategies to your needs.

Remember, it is important to urge all organizations and events with which you are affiliated to make a stated policy not to accept these donations. Below is a list of LGBT elected officials in California who have agreed not to take money from Tobacco Companies thanks to an effort from Naphtali Offen, Research Associate with the LGBT Tobacco Research Project at the University of California, San Francisco.

" Meanwhile, of great concern to me is the unhappy history of AIDS service organizations taking money, often lots of it, from the tobacco industry. San Francisco AIDS Foundation, GMHC, Shanti Project, Gids Love We Deliver, and many others, have been recipients of the industry’s “largesse.” I think that’s no longer true, but I’m not sure. PM especially focused on AIDS food banks. It will be interesting to have definitive data on which kills more gay/bi men, AIDS or tobacco. We have our suspicions that it is the latter, especially now that AIDS mortality has been reduced, but we don’t yet know for sure.

Bottom line is we need AIDS groups AND LGBT groups to join the growing number of groups that have signed statements committing not to accept tobacco industry funding. See on the Last Drag website. It’s time for us to urge all our national groups to get onboard with this simple, but important step. Imagine, if a large number of prominent LGBT and AIDS groups took such a stand, how it would help young LGBTs coming out rethink their widely-held believe that being queer means you have to smoke."

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