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'This Free Life' Anti-Smoking Campaign Targets LGBT Young Adults

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A new anti-smoking campaign hopes to convince hundreds of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young adults not to light up.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched 'This Free Life,' in hopes of reaching some 800,000 LGBT between 18 and 24, who may reach for a cigarette one day to cope with the stress of 'coming out.' The FDA considers them a high risk group when it comes to tobacco use.

"We know LGBT young adults in this country are nearly twice as likely to use tobacco as other young adults," said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products in a press release. "We want LGBT young adults to know that there is no safe amount of smoking. Even an occasional cigarette can have serious health implications and lead to addiction."

According to the FDA, tobacco use in LGBT clubs and bars, and among high-profile YouTube personalities and bloggers makes smoking seem de rigeur – like a cool "cultural necessity."

'This Free Life' aims to shatter that misperception and shed light on the serious health problems that come with tobacco addiction.

"Freedom to be, Tobacco Free" is the campaign's tagline, one that its authors hope will appeal to the sense of liberty and individualism in the LGBT community.

"The campaign shows LGBT young adults they can be the person they want to be and still live tobacco free," says Zeller.

'This Free Life' is funded with tobacco money and will not cost taxpayers one dime. The $35.7 million campaign rolls out this week in 12 markets on print, digital and outdoor advertising.

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