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Franklin Graham Condemns $36M Gov't Anti-Smoking Ad Campaign Featuring Drag Queens

Franklin Graham
The Rev. Franklin Graham. |

The Rev. Franklin Graham has denounced a $36 million anti-smoking government campaign aimed at 18- to 24-year-olds that features coming out stories and drag queens called "This Free Life."

In a message posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Graham took issue with the Food and Drug Administration's initiative, arguing that it's an example of preferential treatment.

"Our Federal Food and Drug Administration is spending $36 million of taxpayer money on an advertising campaign featuring lesbians, drag queens, and transgender individuals to encourage the LGBT community to quit smoking," wrote Graham. "Doesn't everyone need to quit smoking, not just this group?"

Graham also took exception to the title of the program being "This Free Life" and its apparent message of helping LGBT smokers "find their own truth."

"The only way any person is going to find true freedom is through repentance and faith in God's Son, Jesus Christ. The real truth is, this lifestyle is not healthy — spiritually or physically," continued Graham.

"We need to believe God's truth, not find our own truth as this campaign encourages. Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me' (John 14:6). Finding our own truth is just a lie from Satan."

 ABC News reports that the FDA campaign, which was launched earlier this week, prominently features coming-out stories, famous drag queens, and chance romantic encounters at parties. Instead of focusing solely on the health impacts of smoking, the videos highlight how smoking may affect how one looks and smells."

According to the FDA, "This Free Life" is one of multiple campaigns aimed at reducing smoking among younger Americans as a general group.

"The FDA launched 'The Real Cost' Smoking Prevention Campaign in February 2014, the 'Fresh Empire' Multicultural Tobacco Prevention Campaign in October 2015, and 'The Real Cost' Smokeless Tobacco Prevention Campaign in April 2016," stated the FDA.

"The FDA's campaigns are based on the best available science and are evaluated to measure effectiveness in preventing and reducing youth smoking over time."

Posted to Facebook on Tuesday, Graham's opinion on the FDA program has gotten over 22,000 likes and more than 9,000 shares on the popular social media site.

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