Our LGBTQ+ communities deserve great health. Our communities are strong, resilient, beautiful, and proud.
LGBTQ+ folks experience a lot of pressure from social exclusion, limited resources, targeted violence, and discrimination. This pressure leads to stress. Tobacco companies spend millions of dollars targeting ads and product discounts to LGBTQ+ people, low-income neighborhoods, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and people with disabilities.
Together, these combined forces push people towards commercial tobacco use. As a result, LGBTQ+ folks use tobacco and nicotine products at 1.5 times the rate of cisgender heterosexuals.
HEAL Plus NM sees the health burden of commercial tobacco as a social justice issue. We work to promote resources to quit nicotine and tobacco within our LGBTQ+ community and to change healthcare policies to create more welcoming and affirming environments for queer and transgender people.
Nicotine is only one piece of the equation of health inequities. Our alliance is committed to the full breadth and depth of health equity solutions. Another area of focus for HEAL Plus NM is sexual violence prevention.
Violence is often targeted to LGBTQ+ people. LGBTQ+ people experience high rates of sexual violence and intimate partner violence. HEAL Plus NM celebrates the innovation and creativity that queer and trans folks bring to forming relationships, friendships, and family structures. We know that LGBTQ+ communities are resilient and capable of creating new norms for respectful, caring relationships. Our health equity work in sexual violence prevention involves surveying community members, providing resources, and participating in a statewide messaging campaign #startswithusnm.