Big Tobacco companies know that marginalized groups are more likely to smoke, so they target LGBTQ people with advertisements for cigarettes. Additionally, smoking is even more dangerous to those living with HIV, as it can weaken the immune system and worsen HIV related health complications.
Here are five facts about how smoking affects the LGBTQ Community and some helpful resources. All information was taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, visit their website.
1. Nearly 1 in 4 LGB people smoke cigarettes, whereas 1 in 6 straight people smoke.
2. The Transgender Community is at a high risk of smoking due to the higher rates of HIV, substance abuse and depression associated with the stress of daily discrimination.
3. Over 30,000 LGBTQ people die each year of cigarette related illnesses.
4. Cigarettes can affect the health and appearance of your skin, teeth, nails and mouth.
5. LGBTQ people are less likely to be aware of smoking quitlines and less likely to receive the help they need to quit smoking.
For help quitting contact the MDHHS quitline:
If you have HIV and need help quitting, contact Fonda Kingsley of the Red Project:
If you have any additional questions, please reach out to us at the Grand Rapids Pride Center: