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Smoking & The LGBTQ Community: Join The Fight

As LGBTQ adults, we’ve celebrated some big wins over the last few years. Marriage equality. Increased transgender visibility. Our allies standing up and fighting on our behalf.

Yet our march for equality goes on. But will your lungs get you there?

The odds suggest not.

Lesbian, gay and bisexual Coloradans are TWICE as likely to smoke compared to their straight peers. While the smoking rate for all Coloradans has decreased by nearly 5%¹ from 2004 to 2014, the rate of smoking in our community remains the same. Smoking-related disease claims the lives of 30,000 LGBTQ people every year.

Straight people are figuring it out and quitting. Why aren’t we?

But maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised.

After all, the tobacco industry has pretended to be our friends for years – by sponsoring our events and handing out giveaways and coupons in our bars – all while basically calling us “scum” behind our backs.²

And no, we’re not making that up.

That’s why EnoughWithThePuff.com and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are spreading the word about LGBTQ smoking and encouraging everyone to get involved. We invite smokers and nonsmokers to get the facts about smoking in the LGBTQ community, and then help give voice to this issue. Because at the end of the day, it’s our strength as a community that pushes us forward both on tough social issues like equality and tough personal ones…like tobacco addiction.

Just look at all we have accomplished when we come together and fight for something! If you’re ready to join the fight, here’s what you can do:

  • Not a smoker? Talk to your friends who are. They don’t need a  mom-lecture. Just offer the facts and let them know you’ll support them when they’re ready to quit.
  • Stop smoking socially. You might think it’s no big deal to bum a cig when you’re out with friends, but the fact is that it puts you on the path to addiction. And it’s going to be a whole lot easier to stop now than when you’re already addicted. Don’t believe us? Let Ben, Crystal or Sam tell you.
  • Learn how to quit. Maybe you’re not ready to quit – and that’s ok. A great first step is to learn about effective ways to prepare for your quit attempt. Find out more here.
  • Get involved. Join your friends and neighbors who have shared their struggle, lent their voices and worked with us to spread the word about smoking’s toll on the LGBTQ community. Share your story.

¹Source: 2011 vs. 2015 comparison of smoking rates amongst lesbian, gay and bisexual Coloradans, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

²"Project Scum." Truth Tobacco Industry Documents. 02 Dec. 1995. 1-9. Report.

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