Taking Pride in a Healthy Community

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

Fist

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 if you’ve tried to quit in the past. 

With free help and support, you can have an easier time and more success quitting tobacco –– for good. In addition to the support of quit coaches, products like nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges can keep cravings under control, 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 to quit.

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 to an organization serving our community or try one of these providers:

Not sure how to ask for help from those close to you? Send them our tips for helping an LGBTQ+ friend or loved one 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.

Studies show that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, queer/questioning and other LGBTQ+ adults in the U.S. are much more likely than heterosexual/cisgender adults to smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products.1 These products are highly addictive, and can lead to serious health conditions –– like cancer, heart disease, and stroke –– and even death.

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. 

Big Tobacco knows that tobacco use is significantly higher in our LGBTQ+ community– and these companies use that information in an effort to increase their tobacco sales.1

Here’s a shocking fact: In the mid-1990s, one tobacco company created a marketing campaign to target LGBTQ people and others including homeless individuals and immigrants. Internally, they referred to the campaign as Sub-Culture Urban Marketing or Project SCUM.

Their efforts have devastating consequences: 

More than 30,000 of us die of tobacco-related illnesses every year in the United States.2

LGBTQ+ people spend $7.9 billion (about $24 per person in the US) on cigarettes each year –– 65 times more than LGBTQ-friendly organizations spend fighting for our equal rights.3

LGBTQ+ people are nearly twice as likely to use e-cigarettes and little cigars compared to straight adults.

Transgender adults are significantly more likely than cisgender adults to currently use any tobacco product (e.g., cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and cigars) (32.6% vs. 23.6%).4

As tobacco companies continue to target LGBTQ+ people, tobacco use will be a growing issue in our community. 

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 impacting more than just one person. You’re role-modeling a tobacco-free future for the young people in our community. 

Let’s help each other.

In 2018, the rates of smoking and vaping were higher among LGBTQ+ Coloradans than the state average (22.5% vs. 14% for smoking and 15% vs. 7.1% for vaping). 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.

References
1. Tobacco and LGBTQ+ Communities, American Cancer Society, 2022, https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/cancer-control/en/booklets-flyers/tobacco-and-the-lgbt-communities.pdf
2.  Tobacco and the GLBT Community, 2003, American Cancer Society. https://www.tobaccofreeco.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/GLBTTobacco.pdf
3. HealthLink, P. byL. G. B. T. (2014, January 17). LGBT Tobacco Infograph Citations. LGBT HealthLink, The Network for Health Equity. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from https://blog.lgbthealthlink.org/2014/01/16/tobacco-infograph-citations/
4.  Truth_LGBT Fact Sheet 2021. Truth Initiative, June 2021, https://truthinitiative.org/sites/default/files/media/files/2021/06/Truth_LGBT%20FactSheet2021_FINAL_062221.pdf.
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