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National LGBT tobacco control networkAbout the Network

2010-03-15: Human Rights Campaign’s gives Reynolds Tobacco Co. perfect rating

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Joseph Lee, a social research specialist in the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Department of Family Medicine’s Tobacco Prevention and Evaluation Program, says that Reynolds American shouldn’t have received a perfect 100 score in the 2009 HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI).

Lee contended that his main opposition to Reynolds’ perfect 100 score stems from evidence of the company’s history of marketing has increased tobacco use among LGBT people. Study after study confirms that disproportionate numbers of lesbian and gay adults and youth smoke.

“By giving a perfect score to Reynolds American, the HRC is promoting health inequalities, not corporate equality,” he said. “Until tobacco companies stop selling addiction and disease to LGBT communities, they should not be included in an index of equality.”