Gov. Inslee collects $552 million annually from tobacco taxes and fees, proposes spending less than 1% on prevention efforts

SEATTLE, Wash. (December 18, 2018) – In a stunning move last week, Governor Inslee released a budget that provides no additional funding for tobacco prevention efforts.

“It is a fair assumption that some percentage of the revenue the State generates from nicotine addiction would go toward helping users quit smoking or preventing tobacco use in the first place,” said Fred Swanson, Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center’s Executive Director. “To feed the State’s general fund with more than 99% of tobacco taxes and fees and ignore the epidemic of vaping among our youth is unconscionable.”

In the Governor’s recent $54.4 billion budget, the state is designating only $1.7 million annually toward the prevention of tobacco/e-cigarettes/vaping, less than 3% of the $64 million recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With more than $552 million in tax revenue received annually from tobacco taxes and fees, the state is spending less than 1% towards prevention efforts.

According to a recent FDA report, high school e-cigarette use is at an epidemic level, increasing 78% year-over-year. Those most likely to be affected include youth of color and LGBTQ youth, whose rates of smoking far outpace any other groups.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death in the country. Annual healthcare costs directly attributable to smoking in Washington top $2.8 billion.

A request for a meaningful investment was sent to Gov. Inslee in October by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Indian Health Commission for Washington State, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, El Centro de la Raza, Foundation for Healthy Generations, Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center, Neighborhood House, and Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Advocating Together for Healthy Communities.

It is now up to the state legislature to address this oversight in their 2019 budget. To contact your legislator, go to gaycity.org/contactyourlegislator.

For more information and facts, please visit gaycity.org/TobaccoPrevention.

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Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center

Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center mission is to promote wellness in LGBTQ communities by providing health services, connecting people to resources, fostering arts, and building community.  We are an organization where our staff and volunteers, our programs and services, and our drive and spirit reflect the resilience and power of Seattle’s many LGBTQ communities. For more information, visit www.gaycity.org.


GAY CITY: SEATTLE’S LGBTQ CENTER WELCOMES NEW COMMUNITY PARTNER INTO THE LGBTQ CENTER

SEATTLE, Wash. (December 11, 2018) – Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center welcomes Three Dollar Bill Cinema into our LGBTQ Center space as a community partner.

“Our two organizations have a long history of successful collaboration on film projects, fundraisers and community events. Moving in together will increase our ability to work on joint projects, support LGBTQ film and art and create a dynamic and vibrant community hub at Gay City,” said Fred Swanson, Gay City Executive Director.

The relocation into Gay City continues the LGBTQ’s Center tradition of having community partners co-locate, from our initial partnership with Verbena and Kaladi Brothers Coffee in 2006, to Washington United for Marriage in 2012, and later Ingersoll Gender Center and Equal Rights Washtington.  At an earlier location on Broadway, Gay City shared space with Entre Hermanos.

“We will start our move over on December 14th and will be full-time at Gay City by late December,” said Three Dollar Bill Cinema Executive Director, Ben McCarthy, in a letter to the community. “This move will not only allow us the opportunity to work more closely with Gay City, it will provide Three Dollar Bill Cinema with an opportunity to continue to regain financial stability as we navigate through some rough organizational waters.”

While Three Dollar Bill Cinema is changing office location, their slate of year-round programming will continue.

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Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center

Gay City is an organization where our staff and volunteers, our programs and services, and our drive and spirit reflect the resilience and power of Seattle’s many LGBTQ communities. Our mission is to promote wellness in LGBTQ communities by providing health services, connecting people to resources, fostering arts, and building community. For more information, visit www.gaycity.org.

Three Dollar Bill Cinema

Three Dollar Bill Cinema is a nonprofit arts organization that provides access to films by, for, and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and a forum for LGBTQ filmmakers to share and discuss their work with audiences. Annual programs include The Seattle Queer Film Festival, Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival, Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema and Reel Queer Youth. For more information, visit www.threedollarbillcinema.org.

Three Dollar Cinema Welcome