© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New anti-smoking campaign targets gays, Bosnians

By Adam Allington, KWMU

St. Louis – The Missouri Foundation for Health says Bosnians and gays will be the focus of a new anti-smoking campaign.

The nine-year funding effort will spend more than $40 million to target specific communities with a propensity to smoke.

Michael Renner of the Missouri Foundation for Health said the homosexuals smoke at a rate 2-and-a-half times the national average.

"Within the gay and lesbian population for instance. A lot of research shows that that is a very clear target market for big tobacco, that's probably the biggest piece of information we have is looking at marketing rates."

Renner also said designing an anti-smoking campaign for Eastern Europeans, another group with high smoking rates, will be a first for the organization.

Missouri ranks 49th in the nation in per-pack cigarette taxes at 17-cents. Smoking-related health problems cost Missouri more than $2 billion every year.