U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
  1. Home
  2. Tobacco Products
  3. This Free Life Campaign
  1. Tobacco Products

This Free Life Campaign

youth standing in front of a This Free Life rainbow flag

The “This Free Life” campaign launched in 2016 to prevent and reduce tobacco use among LGBT young adults who occasionally smoked cigarettes. When the campaign launched, there were more than 2 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) young adults ages 18-24 living in the United States1 . LGBT young adults are nearly twice as likely to use tobacco as other young adults, ultimately resulting in the loss of tens of thousands of LGBT lives to tobacco use each year2 .

Prior to launch, FDA conducted extensive formative research to develop audience insights and test campaign messaging approaches for different LGBT subpopulations. “This Free Life” used primarily digital-only marketing tactics, including online and streaming video, digital advertisements, and social media, in select markets throughout the United States. Campaign messaging featured authentic and credible voices from the tobacco-free LGBT community to educate the audience on the negative consequences of smoking. The campaign also utilized innovative approaches with social media and influencers to encourage LGBT young adults to live tobacco-free.    

The campaign’s implementation and evaluation were completed in 2020. Overall, the campaign was able to reach many LGBT young adults and deliver tobacco prevention messaging that resonated with the audience. 

Select campaign print advertisements are available on the FDA Tobacco Education Resource Library.



  • Hermes Awards 
    • 2020 Gold: Social Video category 
    • 2019 Gold: Games, Contests, & Presentations category 
    • 2018 Platinum: Social Marketing Campaign category 
    • 2018 Platinum: Social Video category 
    • 2018 Platinum: YouTube Video category
  • Telly Awards 
    • 2019 Gold: Public Service & Activism for Social Video category 
    • 2018 Gold: Public Interest & Awareness for Online category
    • 2018 Bronze: Lighting for Branded Content
    • 2018 Bronze: Public Service and Activism for Social Video category  
    • 2017 Bronze: Cultural category for Video / Shows / Segments 
  • Ad Pop Awards
    • 2017 Gold: Non-Profit category for print ads 
  • Shorty Social Good Awards
    • 2017 Finalist: Tumblr category. 
  • Association of National Advertisers (ANA) 
    • 2017 Winner: Multicultural Excellence Award LGBT category 
    • 2016 Grand Prize: Multicultural Excellence Award 

1 Gates GJ, and Newport F. (2012). Special Report: 3.4% of U.S. Adults Identify as LGBT. Washington, DC: Gallup, Inc.
2 Lee JGL, Griffin GK, and Melvin CL. (2009). Tobacco use among sexual minorities, USA, 1987-2007 (May): a systematic review. Tob Control, Online First.

Back to Top