Today is the launch of the Stoptober campaign and troubling statistics show that Lesbian, Gay and Bisexuals are more likely to smoke than their heterosexual counterparts.

Compared to heterosexuals, gay/lesbian and bisexual adults are 1.5 times more likely to be current smokers.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of gay and bisexual men have smoked at some time in their life compared to half of men in general who have smoked.

A quarter (26 percent) of gay and bisexual men currently smoke compared to 22 per cent of men in general.

Gay/lesbian and bisexual adults people over 16yrs are more likely to be current smokers, less likely to have never smoked, and less likely to have given up smoking than the general population.

Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England and LGBT role model at the HSJ said, ‘The figures speak for themselves – businesses can play an important role in helping their employees and see the benefits of a smoke-free workforce. Quitting smoking is one of the most significant health improvements a person can make and it is encouraging to see so many businesses and employers supporting Stoptober to help make their workplace happier and healthier places for their staff.

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Last year, it was noted that English gay youth were twice as likely to smoke and drink hazardously compared to straight people of the same age. In an interview with TheGayUK, Dr. Joanna Semlyen stated there were several reasons why LGB people were more likely to

In an interview with TheGayUK, Dr. Joanna Semlyen stated there were several reasons why LGB people were more likely to smoke and drink, saying, ‘we suspect that the impact of homophobia and heterosexism within society, in addition to the possible experience of homophobic bullying whilst at school, may lead to what we call ‘minority stress’ or in increased self-esteemteem which young people then perhaps seek to alleviate with smoking and/or alcohol.’

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11 Million Work Days Lost
Leading employers are supporting this year’s Stoptober quit smoking campaign because smoking is bad for business. Smoking currently costs the economy in England a massive £13bn1 a year, with businesses losing over 11 million days of productivity each year due to smoking-related sick days, which alone costs £1bn a year.

New free resources are available for employers to support staff with the 28-day quit attempt. Everyone joining Stoptober can choose from a range of tools to suit them, including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app, text support with daily updates, quitting advice and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people through social media. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online and sign up.

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