Tobacco use is among the greatest health challenges facing the LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment, overall LGBTQ+ 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 LGBTQ+ 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.
Promoting Tobacco Cessation:
The Pennsylvania LGBTQ Health Needs Assessment has found that LGBTQ Pennsylvanians use tobacco products at twice the rate of other Pennsylvanians. Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center encourages all Pennsylvanians to Take Pride in Clean Air and provide smoke/tobacco-free spaces for everyone. We also promote the PA Free Quitline, which provides no-cost support with nicotine replacement therapy and professional coaches to help current smokers quit. More information is available by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or by visiting pa.quitlogix.org.
To promote tobacco cessation and prevention in our local community, we partner with businesses, organizations, restaurants, and more throughout eastern Pennsylvania to adopt or strengthen tobacco-free policies that protect their customers, employees, and community from the hazards of secondhand smoke.
Take Pride in Clean Air Partners:
Abilities in Motion in Reading
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 LGBTQ+ 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.
|Tobacco-Free Pride Celebrations in Pennsylvania:
Chester County Pride 2016
Doylestown Pride 2019
Erie Pride 2017
Franklin County Pride 2018
Juneteenth Pride Family Picnic 2022
Lancaster Pride 2015
Lehigh Valley Pride 2017
LyComing Out Day Festival 2022
Milford Pride Picnic 2018
New Hope Pride 2017
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