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New website aims to prevent tobacco usage for LGBTQ+ Black and Latinx youth

Free tools provides resources to help young people using tobacco quit and prevent new users

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SPH faculty in group photo

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – LGBTQ+ as well as Black and Latinx populations are at increased risk for using tobacco products and experience greater health tobacco-related health burdens than their non-LGBTQ+ and white peers, according to the CDC. To address this disparity in tobacco usage, a collaborative led by University of Maryland Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC), within the UMD School of Public Health is developing a prevention communication campaign and resources in English and Spanish.


The CDC-backed project, Live in Color Without Tobacco, or Vive en Colores sin Tobacco, is a partnership between two SPH components – UMD-PRC and the UMD Center for Health Literacy – and the Maryland Department of Health.

The Live in Color/Vive en Colores website is available in English and Spanish and includes a host of resources to support organizations in addressing tobacco prevention. These include information on the harms of tobacco use and vaping, and free call and text lines resources to support youth quitting tobacco and vape products. 

The website also provides information to LGBTQ+ centers and resources in Prince George’s and Montgomery County, both in Maryland. The team will  post additional toolkits this summer that include tailored messaging for Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ youth and young adults. 

“We are creating these communications materials because there are none that exist to specifically speak to this audience,” said the project's principal investigator, SPH Associate Professor of Family Science and co-Director of the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center Jessica Fish. “Phenomenal organizations are working with Black, Latinx and LGBTQ+ youth, but tobacco prevention and control isn’t their only priority when serving these communities. We aim to provide these additional resources to accompany and support the great work they are already doing.” 

To help people in these communities to stop engaging in tobacco use, the researchers are creating a free, online resource to be shared with LGBTQ+ organizations. These resources emphasize the importance of tobacco prevention, highlighting the need to limit its widespread use. 

“The tobacco industry uses marketing tactics focusing on these communities,” said Devlon Jackson, SPH Assistant Research Professor of Behavioral and Community Health and the project’s communication lead. “We have learned from community partners and members of the LGBTQ+ community that additional resources and support are needed due to the increase in tobacco use within the community.”

Live in Color’s coordinator, Carter Carter, an SPH master’s student in biostatistics public health, said they were encouraged to quit tobacco usage during their time working on the project after seeing the direct harm of tobacco usage on their community.

“Given competing demands and limited resources, the issue of tobacco use is not a top priority for many LGBTQ+ community organizations. This is why the Live in Color/Vive en Colores campaign is needed – to support centers in their effort to alleviate some of these disparities that we see.”

Live in Color materials
  • Departments
  • Prevention Research Center
  • Horowitz Center for Health Literacy