Who targeted the LGBT community with “Project SCUM”? If you guessed “Big Tobacco,” then sadly, you are correct.
October 11 is the start of PRIDE week — the perfect time to empower yourself with the facts about tobacco and the LGBTQA community — the perfect time to stand up against Big Tobacco’s targeting, exploitation and undermining tactics to profit by endangering the health and well-being of this strong group.
Did you know that individuals in the LGBTQA community are more than twice as likelyto smoke as their heterosexual/straight counterparts? Big Tobacco knows this, and works every day to make sure this dangerous trend continues.
It all started with “Project SCUM (Sub-Culture Urban Marketing),” a marketing plan created by one of the largest tobacco companies, targeting the LGBTQA community and homeless people to boost its sales. Based on its own records, the tobacco industry has been targeting the LGBT community for decades in subtle and overt ways. For example, “in 1991, a Wall Street Journal headline trumpeted, ‘overcoming a deep-rooted reluctance, more firms advertise to [the] gay community.’ The story called gays and lesbians “a dream market” and focused on the tobacco industry’s courtship of LGBT media giants such as Genre.” 1