Tobacco use is among the greatest health challenges facing the LGBT community. Tobacco 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.
According to the 2018 Lehigh Valley LGBT Health Needs Assessment, overall LGBT respondents 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%).
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center encourages smoke-free living (#LGBTSmokeFree) so our community can enjoy living proudly and living longer.
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
Direct Outreach for Tobacco Prevention:
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center conducts direct outreach to encourage tobacco prevention and supports LGBT smoke-free space to reduce the social pressure to smoke in our community spaces. We offer free tobacco prevention workshops to LGBT organizations in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Schuylkill Counties. For more information or to request a free tobacco prevention workshop, email Gabby at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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