Metro Weekly

RuPaul’s Drag Race queens star in FDA anti-smoking ad

Manila, Shangela, Tammie and Trixie want LGBT youth to stop smoking

Trixie Mattel, Credit: FDA / YouTube

Trixie Mattel, Credit: FDA / YouTube

“Yes queen, every cigarette is doing you damage!”

As part of its mission to tackle smoking among young LGBT adults, the FDA has recruited four Drag Race alumni to help get their message out.

Manila Luzon, Shangela, Tammie Brown and Trixie Mattel star in a new “Be Known for Your Flawless” ad. Each queen highlights a specific feature they’re known for — Shangela’s skin, Trixie’s nails, Manila’s hair and Tammie’s smile — before lightly hammering home the point that smoking puts their flawlessness at risk.

The ad is part of the FDA’s “This Free Life” campaign, which aims to curb smoking among the more than 2 million LGBT young adults in America — of which 800,000 smoke “occasionally.” The campaign is “designed to specifically reach the occasional or ‘social’ smokers in the LGBT community to help prevent tobacco-related disease and the loss of tens of thousands LGBT lives to tobacco use each year.”

“’This Free Life’ is designed to challenge the perception that tobacco use is a necessary part of LGBT culture,” said Richard Wolitski, Ph.D., acting director of HHS’ Office for HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy. “The campaign shows LGBT young adults they can be the person they want to be and still live tobacco free.”

Or, as Manila puts it: “Because I’m known for my flawless, I live free from tobacco.”

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at

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