No corporation should see dollar signs when they look at some of our most underserved and vulnerable communities. So it's pretty disappointing -- yet unsurprising -- that Big Tobacco specifically targeted the LGBTQ+ commumity with the sale of its deadly, addicitive products.
While they were publicly making ads that defended freedom and the right to choose, Big Tobacco was privately referring to their project to target gay and homeless people as "Project SCUM." They even infiltrated Pride and other celebrations to push products like menthol cigarettes, which are known to appeal to young, first-time smokers.
Menthol cigarettes are still the only flavored cigarettes left on the market. And today, 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ smokers use menthols. It takes time to undo decades of profiling, discriminating, and underestimating -- but fighting back starts now.