WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people smoke cigarettes at rates nearly 70 percent higher than the general population. Legacy® has long worked to raise awareness of the high prevalence of tobacco use within these communities, highlighting solutions to solve this public health issue. Today, Legacy is proud to present the 2013 Legacy Community Activist Award to Mr. Bob Gordon, MPH, who has spent much of his career raising awareness around the pervasive problem of tobacco use in the LGBT community, as well as building a committed community of LGBT activists and allies working on this issue at a host of organizations.
Since 1993, when he joined the Coalition of Lavender-Americans on Smoking and Health (CLASH) in San Francisco, California, Mr. Gordon has been a leader in addressing tobacco-related harms within the LGBT community. His leadership has been pivotal in bringing the LGBT community together to take a stand against the tobacco industry, while championing smoking cessation classes geared specifically to LGBT and HIV-positive smokers.
He has collaborated with a variety of organizations including: San Francisco's Tobacco Free Coalition, The Last Drag, CLASH and The California LGBT Tobacco Education Partnership, where he currently serves as Project Director. Mr. Gordon has also been acknowledged as a major player in the movement to pass San Francisco's groundbreaking legislation prohibiting the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies.
"Each year, Legacy's Community Activist Award acknowledges an individual who is taking action at the community level by spearheading innovative and influential tobacco control projects, especially those that reflect Legacy's mission to build a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit," said David Dobbins, Chief Operating Officer at Legacy. "Mr. Gordon embodies the core values of social justice. He has always been a strong advocate for the LGBT community - encouraging others to make important changes as individuals and as activists working in the wider community."
In addition to helping create a shared sense of purpose within the LGBT community, Mr. Gordon has also reached out to California's priority population networks, building bridges to other communities working in tobacco control. Mobilizing the partner networks was important in getting the State of California to start collecting data on sexual orientation through its quit lines - data that is useful in measuring the scope and impact of tobacco use in the LGBT community. As a result of his tireless efforts, the LGBT community has been better educated about the tremendous toll that tobacco takes on LGBT people.
"Bob deeply cares about the well-being of all communities," said Gary Chow, MPH, American Cancer Society. "He is a cherished leader who continues to spark the tobacco control movement."
Mr. Gordon is a graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in Business Administration. He earned his Master of Public Health degree from San Francisco State University and was awarded the honor of Graduate Student for Distinguished Achievement. Earlier this month, at the American Public Health Association (APHA) conference, the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Section presented Mr. Gordon with the 2013 Community Based Leadership Award. His advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community and tobacco control is remarkable.
Legacy is proud to award Mr. Bob Gordon the 2013 Community Activist Award.
Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy's proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy's life-saving programs, visit LegacyForHealth.org.
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