Making smoking The Last Drag in the LGBT community!

By Guest Blogger  – Gloria Soliz, American Lung Association in California

Boldly dealing with the disparities in smoking rates, The American Lung Association has released its second Cessation Report, “Smoking Out a Deadly Threat: Tobacco Use in the LGBT Community.”  In part because addressing high rates of smoking reduces exposure to secondhand smoke protecting all of us.

Interested in lowering the smoking rate among LGBT people in your community?  Get started with the following ideas:

  1.  On any and all data collection forms please add sexual orientation and gender identity questions found on page 5 of the report. This will do two things: 1) collect the data to do future interventions, and 2) let people who are LGBT know that they can talk about being gay and/or talk about their lives.
  2. Implement “tailored” if not “targeted” smoking cessation services.  Check out the Suggestion for Culturally Competent Stop Smoking Services for LGBT Community on page 16.  It is the Freedom From Smoking® Facilitator’s responsibility to ask participants to make the stop smoking groups safe and confidential for all participants especially LGBT and HIV positive participants.  One of the most significant things a FFS Facilitator can do is be the first person to say the words lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, HIV/AIDS.  For example, “We need to create an environment where all differences are accepted such as people who are differently able, people from various ethnic groups, people whose first language might not be English, and people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.” 
  3. Check out the LGBT resources available by the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California, here
  4. Ask LGBT policy makers and LGBT organizations in your community to agree not to take tobacco funding.  See the list here.
  5. Be aware of young adults 18 to 25 who smoke.  Younger LGBT people are smoking at a tragically high rate.  Perhaps their smoking may be about rebelling to establish their own identity and to emulate adults in the LGBT community.  Extra thought and creativity is needed to address these misguided beliefs.

One Comment

  1. Posted Jan 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Its great to hear that LGBT are being given extra help to avoid the health inequalities and harm that smoking can cause. They really need expert advice on how to stop smoking to make this easier and less stressful.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Twitted by CaliforniaLung on Jul 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    […] This post was Twitted by CaliforniaLung […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Center4TobaccoPolicy, CaliforniaLung. CaliforniaLung said: Great post! @TobaccoPolicy Gloria Soliz from ALAC writes on making an impact in the LFBT community. […]

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