A new quit smoking campaign has been launched targetting the rainbow community as new data shows smoking rates among LGBTQ people are much higher than in the general population.
Tailored specifically for sexuality and gender diverse communities, the campaign – titled This Could Be the One – acknowledges the challenges of quitting smoking and celebrates the hope that the next attempt to quit could be the one.
Australia’s data on smoking rates are alarming but with LBQ women aged under 24, the smoking rate is more than twice the rate of the general population.
International research finds smoking rates among bisexual and transgender people even higher than their cisgender lesbian or gay counterparts.
The campaign has been developed by the local health authority ACON and the Cancer Institute NSW.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Institute NSW, Sarah McGill, said partnering with ACON was key to reaching LGBTQ communities who are overrepresented in smoking rates, and as a result, are at higher risk of poorer health outcomes.
“Cancer knows no boundaries and everyone, no matter who they are and what their identity, needs to know how they can reduce the risk of cancer by ending their smoking habits. It is a key priority of the NSW Cancer Plan that we are able to reach and engage with everyone at risk,” Ms McGill said.
“It’s so important that we partner with community organisations like ACON, as they have trusted relationships and a strong track record of engaging with LGBTQ communities in specific ways targeted to their needs.”
ACON Deputy CEO Karen Price said the campaign responds to the need to encourage our communities to quit smoking and reduce cancer risk among LGBTQ people.
“Evidence suggests that people who quit smoking often make multiple attempts to quit before success. This campaign encourages people who smoke to make an attempt because every attempt is one step closer to quitting for good,” Price said.
“Smoking causes 16 different types of cancer and with significantly higher smoking rates, many people in sexuality and gender diverse communities will be impacted. This Could Be the One acknowledges the challenges of overcoming nicotine addiction and encourages people who smoke in a non-judgemental way to make another attempt to quit smoking.”
Featuring a series of scenarios, the campaign video shows a range of LGBTQ community members in situations where cigarette cravings can be high and encourages people who smoke to make an attempt at quitting.
“Most people who smoke are aware of the harms of smoking and want to quit, and LGBTQ people are no different,” Price said. “Many of us require help with quitting, so this campaign also directs people to support options to assist them to take this important step.”
Price said the campaign was informed by consultation workshops and focus groups comprising of both people who smoke and quit smoking from LGBTQ communities, who spoke about their unique quit smoking experiences.
“Historically and culturally, smoking has a strong connection with social situations in LGBTQ communities. As a community that has been stigmatised in many ways throughout our lives, it was important we developed a campaign that doesn’t ostracise people who smoke in our communities,” Price said.
“Instead, we want to draw people in and together by engaging in a conversation and supporting each other through our quit journeys. Working with focus groups of diverse LGBTQ community members who smoke or quit smoking, we developed an inclusive campaign that depicts real life situations where they struggle to beat their craving and that prompts behaviour change.”
Watch the This Could Be the One video below.
Last Updated on Jun 9, 2022