The government is dolling out well over $200,000 on a project intended to encourage gay teenagers to stop smoking because gay, queer, and LGBTQ people allegedly suffer more tobacco addiction than straight people.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) gave the grant money to the University of California to conduct the project, which began in August according to the Free Beacon. The study is necessary because sexual minorities “are disproportionately affected by tobacco use and associated health conditions,” says the project’s description.
The study — whose costs actually comes out to a whopping nearly $250,000 — insists however, that these gender minorities “face significant barriers to treatment participation and lower levels of satisfaction with treatment than others … [and] there is an extreme lack of such services available.”
The goal of the expensive project is to use social media to engage young gay smokers in a way that will discourage others to use tobacco. The study recruited 120 teenagers who have each smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and asked them to join a private Facebook group which will feature posts encouraging them and their gay compatriots to stop smoking.
The project — or so called 90-day intervention — includes weekly counseling sessions in addition to the group Facebook posts. Results of the project will be used to design a clinical trial that seeks to determine optimal intervention methods for particular groups of people.
The project will continue through February 2019.
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