Tobacco use is among the greatest health challenges facing the LGBT community and is the leading cause of death in the LGBTQ community. As a stigmatized community, LGBTQ people have been more vulnerable to targeted marketing. LGBTQ tobacco use rates are 40% higher than the general population, and members of the LGBTQ community are less likely to be aware of or intend to use smoking Quitlines. Adopting a smoke-free policy disrupts the long history of the tobacco industry targeting the LGBTQ community through magazine ads, as well as sponsoring pride festivals and LGBTQ nights at bars. Distributing tobacco prevention and cessation resources at pride events also addresses a historically limited access to these health services.
In the 2018 Lehigh Valley LGBT Health Needs Assessment, overall LGBT respondents (n=4,679) report higher current smoking than the general population, smoking reports are even higher among transgender and gender non-conforming respondents (36.9%) than among cisgender males (28.8%) and cisgender females (28.1%). According to the 2020 Lehigh Valley LGBT Health Needs Assessment, overall LGBT respondents (n= 6,582) report up to 34.2% of tobacco users identify as transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer, 32.5% bisexual and pansexual, and 37.0% LGBTQ people of color (POC).
Direct Outreach for Tobacco Prevention:
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center conducts direct outreach to encourage tobacco prevention and supports LGBT smoke-free spaces to reduce the social pressure to smoke in our community spaces. We offer free tobacco prevention workshops to schools, colleges, and community organizations in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Schuylkill Counties. For more information or to request a free tobacco prevention workshop, email Devin at [email protected]
Promoting Tobacco Cessation:
In response to the high rates of tobacco consumption in the LGBT community, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is creating awareness of the prevalence of the use of tobacco products within the LGBT community, and encourages support through the PA Free Quitline, which provides no-cost nicotine replacement therapy and professional coaches to help current smokers quit. More information is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or PA.QUITLOGIX.ORG
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center is also partnering with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania to connect individuals interested in quitting smoking to their Research In Smoking Elimination (RISE) Study. This program is designed to help individuals quit smoking and involves the use of nicotine patches and behavioral counseling. If you are interested in more information about participating, email Devin at [email protected]
To promote tobacco cessation at the community level, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center partners with worksites throughout the region to adopt or strengthen tobacco-free policies that protect their customers and employees from the hazards of secondhand smoke. For free consultation and support through this Take Pride inn Clean Air initiative, contact Devin at [email protected]
Take Pride in Clean Air Partners: Chimayo Gallery in Perkasie - Boehm's UCC in Blue Bell - Imago Dei MCC in Glen Mills - Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition - ThreeBirds Coffee House in Easton - Domaci in Bethlehem - The LGBT Center of Greater Reading - United Friends School in Quakertown - Allentown Women's Center in Bethlehem - Triversity Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity in Milford - Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville - Crooked Row Farm in Orefield - All Souls Church in Reading - Calvary UCC in Reading - Bethany Children's Home in Womelsdorf - Abilities in Motion in Reading - Planned Parenthood Keystone in Warminster - Kutztown Community Library in Kutztown - St. John's UCC in Easton - Community Bike Works in Allentown - Radish Republic in Allentown - Sterner's Stems in Allentown - Neighborhood Health Centers of Lehigh Valley in Allentown - The Wicked Botanist in Bethlehem - Family Promise Berks County in Allentown
Smoke Free Prides Initiative:
Smoke-free pride events are part of changing the LGBTQ cultural landscape so that people know that smoking and being LGBTQ don't go hand-in-hand. According to peer-reviewed research published in 2017 in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, smoke-free policies at pride celebrations have led to several positive health outcomes, including the reduction of LGBT tobacco consumption disparities. As part of our effort to reduce the social pressure to smoke in LGBT spaces, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center supports, promotes, and sponsors pride celebrations in Pennsylvania to be smoke-free events since 2015.
Smoke-Free Pride Celebrations in Pennsylvania: Chester County Pride - Doylestown Pride - Erie Pride - Franklin County Pride - Lancaster Pride - Lehigh Valley Pride - Milford Pride Picnic - New Hope Pride - NEPA Pride - Pittsburgh People’s Pride - Pride Festival Of Central PA - Pride Picnic at Knoebels Grove - Readings Pride - York EqualityFest
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