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West Virginia
Wants to Stub Gay Smoking

West Virginia
Wants to Stub Gay Smoking

West Virginia -- a state not known for being exactly gay-friendly -- has allocated $100,000 to fight smoking in the gay and lesbian community, reports The Charleston Gazette.

West Virginia -- a state not known for being exactly gay-friendly -- has allocated $100,000 to fight smoking in the gay and lesbian community, reports The Charleston Gazette.

Two state groups each received a $50,000 grant that will go to smoking cessation programs and marketing. Gay people who chew tobacco will also be targeted for assistance.

Studies have shown that gays are twice as likely to smoke than heterosexuals. About half of all gay men smoke, the National Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health reports. Lung cancer kills more lesbians than any other cancer. Among the 50 states, only Kentucky has a higher rate of smoking than West Virginia.

"HIV isn't our biggest health threat; it's tobacco," said Jeff Crist, development director at Covenant House, a Charleston, W.Va., nonprofit that is one of the beneficiaries of the anti-smoking grants. "The gay community has survived lots over the years. Discrimination. Ostracism. It's time the whole message gets out about smoking and tobacco." (Neal Broverman, The Advocate)

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