Taking Pride in a Healthy Community

The LGBTQ+ community in Colorado is stronger and healthier together. Let’s help each other leave tobacco behind.


Resources to Support You

Quitting tobacco isn’t something anyone has to do alone or all at once.

The Colorado QuitLine offers free, non-judgmental quit coaching, medications, and more resources.

You can even call if you’re just thinking about making a change or trying again.

With help and support, you can quit using tobacco. Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges can help control cravings, helping you stay tobacco-free. 

Not Quite Ready to Quit?

That’s okay, we get it. It’s a big decision. This page can help you think about your relationship with tobacco and help you make a plan for when you are ready.

We know stress is a big reason why many LGBTQ+ Coloradans use tobacco. The strain of dealing with discrimination and struggling for acceptance is real. If you want to explore healthier coping habits or need mental health support, reach out for help from an organization serving our community or try one of these providers:

Let the people closest to you know how they can support you. Not sure how to ask for their help? Send them our tips for helping an LGBTQ+ friend quit tobacco, A Community of Support.  You can copy or download this graphic to share with them in email or on social media.2

You Without Tobacco

Tobacco takes a unique toll on our community.

While the smoking rate for all Coloradans decreased from 2004 to 2014, the smoking rate in our community remained the same.1

When you quit –– or help someone avoid tobacco use –– you’ll see the benefits quickly. We can breathe easier without tobacco, protecting our health and saving money. 

What are tobacco products holding you back from?

Targeted by Big Tobacco

Tobacco companies continue to target LGBTQ+ communities and use LGBTQ+ culture, pride, and icons to sell their deadly products. These tactics include presenting themselves as allies while promoting their addictive products at our community events, placing ads in magazines we read, and showing up at safe places like bars and clubs.

Here’s a shocking fact: A tobacco company created a marketing campaign called Project SCUM (Sub-Culture Urban Marketing) in the mid-1990s to target LGBTQ people, among others.2


Their efforts have devastating consequences: 

More than 30,000 of us die of tobacco-related illnesses every year.3

LGBTQ+ people spend $7.9 billion on cigarettes each year – 65 times more than LGBTQ-friendly organizations spend fighting for our equal rights.4

But we’re stronger than these companies. 

Organizations that serve our community across Colorado are creating tobacco-free spaces and events that help LGBTQ+ Coloradans see a tobacco-free future. They are also helping us work toward it by providing resources for quitting.

Healthier You, Healthier Community

When you want to quit, or help a friend, you’re role modeling a tobacco-free future for the young people in our community. 

Let’s help each other. 

In 2018, 22.5% of LGBTQ+ Coloradans smoked cigarettes, and 15% vaped. In comparison, 14% of heterosexual Coloradans smoked cigarettes and 7.1% vaped. However, 81% of those LGBTQ+ smokers tried to quit in the past year, compared to 64.9% of heterosexuals who tried to quit.5

If you choose to be tobacco-free, you’ll be in good company. Start a trend in your friend group. Work together to become healthier.

1. Comparison of Smoking Rates among Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Coloradans, 2011 to 2015, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Retrieved from: https://www.cohealthdata.dphe.state.co.us/
2. RJR’s “Project SCUM” Targeted Gays, the Homeless, Immigrants and Youth, 2012, Anne Landman. https://annelandmanblog.com/2012/06/rjrs-project-scum-targeted-gays-the-homeless-immigrants-and-youth/
3. Tobacco and the GLBT Community, 2003, American Cancer Society. https://www.tobaccofreeco.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/GLBTTobacco.pdf
4. LGBT People In U.S. Spend An Estimated $7.9 Billion Per Year On Cigarettes, 2014, Buzzfeed. https://www.buzzfeed.com/tonymerevick/lgbt-communities-spend-an-estimated-79-billion-per-year-on-c
5. VISION: Visual Information System for Identifying Opportunities and Needs. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. https://cdphe.colorado.gov/vision-visual-information-system-for-identifying-opportunities-and-needs