A survey has found that over 25 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people are smokers compared to 18 percent of those identifying as straight.
This year’s Stoptober, the country’s 28 day mass quit attempt from Public Health England as official statistics find smoking rates in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community remain higher than among those identifying as heterosexual or straight.
Research shows that smokers are a third more likely to quit when a close friend (36%) or someone they work with (34%) stops. The data also shows that individuals are much more likely (61%), to smoke if a friend or someone they are close to smokes showing the powerful influence that people¹s social networks have on their own smoking behaviour.
Rosanna O’Connor, Director of Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco for Public Health England said:
“The benefits of stopping smoking are almost immediate: quitters will soon see reduced blood pressure, easier breathing and better circulation. It is one of the best things a person from any community, including the LGBT community, can do to improve their health and reduce their chances of developing long-term conditions and dying prematurely”
To sign up to the nation¹s biggest mass quit attempt, search Stoptober online or visit http://smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober
Supporting the campaign, Andrew Gilliver Community Involvement Manager at the LGBT Foundation said:
“We know that some of the reasons for high smoking prevalence amongst the LGBT population include social stress of being LGBT, discrimination and the image of smoking as fashionable on the gay scene. It¹s crucial therefore that services understand the issues affecting LGBT people and are inclusive and accessible to them. In addition to accessing specialist services however, we’d urge as many smokers from the LGBT community as well as the rest of the smoking population to sign up to Stoptober to access the range of support available.”