Introduction

Needs Assessment

Success Stories

Introduction

For years, data has shown that LGBTQ+ youth and adults use tobacco at higher rates than their peers. The MIYHS Fact Sheet, LGBT Student Health, shows that 13.6% of Maine high school students identify as LGBT (about 7,500) and smoke at about twice the rate of non-LGBT students (13% vs 6%). 2019 MIYHS vaping data showed similar use rates, with non-LGBT at 29%, Gay/Lesbian at 25%, Bisexuals at 32% statewide.

This is a social justice issue, and we have the opportunity to equip a new queer generation with better tobacco education, support, and coping strategies statewide.

Mission

The LGBTQ+ Youth Tobacco Prevention Project empowers LGBTQ+ youth to become change-makers to reduce the use of tobacco and vaping products among queer youth and to engage community systems’ support of their efforts.

Vision

LGBTQ+ youth are resilient, savvy leaders who prioritize their health and well-being and actively resist efforts to abuse them.

Needs Assessment

Request a copy of the LGBTQ+ Youth Tobacco Prevention Project Needs Assessment using the button below.

Success Stories Highlights

Pride Month

The Problem: Tobacco Companies have financially supported PRIDE events across the country since the early days of LGBTQ+ organizations and celebrations. One of the marketing strategies of big tobacco to hook LGBTQ+ people was to offer small amounts of money to support LGBTQ+ organizations. There were few ways to fund LGBTQ+ activities at the time. Tobacco sponsorship helped to build cigarette and vaping brand loyalty and certainly contributed to the higher rates of tobacco use in the LGBTQ+ communities. 

What We Are Doing About It: LGBTQ+ Youth Tobacco Prevention Project partners promote tobacco-free youth and family engagement in Pride! Both OUT Maine and HCCA presented on LGBTQ+ Youth engagement and demonstrations of Pride in our communities. In 2021 and 2022 LGBTQ+ youth art was displayed in both Rockland and Gardiner on their Main Streets. 2022 saw an increase in family-friendly Pride events in Maine including a Pride Weekend at the Trolly Museum and Pride Hikes which OUT Maine participated in. In prior years we also gathered surveys at Pride and generally celebrated our youth!

June, 2022

March, 2022

December, 2021