PrideFest Milwaukee says “no” to Big Tobacco

We’ve made a new commitcityofmilwaukee_tobaccofree_pridefest_milwaukeement to the health of our friends, family and the local LGBTQ community.

Twenty LGBTQ and allied health organizations are applauding Milwaukee Pride for saying “no thanks” to Big Tobacco funding for this year’s PrideFest celebration.

The decision builds on the Milwaukee Pride board’s decision last year to provide several tobacco-free spaces to promote the health of all PrideFest attendees.  Although smoking is still allowed on the grounds, additional tobacco-free spaces will be designated at PrideFest 2018.

“The past several festival seasons have been ones full of progress, change and advancement. We’re proud to make a commitment to respectfully declining Big Tobacco sponsorship and support in an effort to continually educate and engage people about the health risks associated with smoking,” said Wes Shaver, President, Milwaukee Pride Board of Directors.

“We understand and respect the individual’s right to make decisions on their own, however, we are fully committed to supporting our community partner’s efforts in reducing cigarette use across the board. We’re excited about the increased community activation and support for promoting positive health messaging and resources for those who need them,”

In the past, Milwaukee Pride has received sponsorship funding from a promotional agency on behalf of a tobacco company and in exchange allowed them to promote menthol cigarettes and offer coupons to attendees to purchase their products at a deep discount, but no more.

To show their support for Milwaukee Pride’s decision to say “no thanks” to tobacco funding, nine different community groups—including Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center, Froedtert Hospital, AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, Diverse and Resilient, City of Milwaukee Tobacco-Free Alliance, Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network, Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Poverty Network, Pathfinders, and UMOS—have contributed a total of $11,000 to offset the tobacco money the festival is losing and will be recognized as sponsors.

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