Are you a member of the LGBT community and want to quit smoking?
Colleagues at the LGBT Foundation in Manchester highlight that there is strong evidence to suggest that lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans (LGBT) people smoke more than the wider population. This means that LGBT people are at increased risk of smoking related illness.
Some reasons for high smoking prevalence include social stress of being LGBT, discrimination and the image of smoking as fashionable on the gay scene. LGBT groups have higher smoking prevalence rates than the general population, and as such, services should be accessible and commissioned to address this need.(NICE 2013).
Public Health England’s latest research on smoking concludes that just 20% of heterosexual men smoke, compared to 25% of gay men, 26% of bisexual men, and 21% of other men who have sex with men. Transgendered people are more likely to smoke cigarettes regularly compared to all other survey respondents (All Partied Out -Rainbow Project 2012 ).
LGB people over 16yrs are more likely to be current smokers, less likely to have never smoked, and less likely to have given up smoking than the general population (LGF, 2011). Two thirds of lesbian and bisexual women have smoked compared to half of women in general, and just over a quarter are active smokers (Hunt & Fish, 2008).
Research shows that specifically tailored smoking cessation programmes are likely to be effective for those who identify as LGBT and those that are HIV positive. They can target otherwise overlooked reasons for smoking, for example homophobia, biphobia & transphobia and stigmatisation.
The Brunswick Centre has trained stop smoking advisors who can offer support with quitting and they work with colleagues in the local stop smoking services at Smokefree Yorkshire to ensure the needs of people with HIV are met.