Did you know that research says that more people smoke within the lgbt community than non-lgbt?
For every day we don’t find out the reasons why and provide the necessary support, more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are at risk from smoking. It is our job to raise awareness on the effects of smoking – so we thought it essential to attend Pride Cymru this August to publicise the facts and do our own research (with surveys) assessing the LGBT smoking rate in Wales.
The results of our research confirmed the trends of previous research and showed that 59% of LGBT people either occasionally smoke, used to smoke or currently smoke compared to the 42% of straight people. This only confirms what we had already suspected however, and the real question for us is… why is this?
Well, the next step for us is to find out exactly that. Our survey has provided us with a snapshot of information on LGBT smoking prevalence, but we want to really delve into the reasons why LGBT people are more likely to smoke. With a large number of LGBT people dealing with everyday discrimination, is smoking used as a coping mechanism? Is it the stresses of being LGBT? Could it be due to family issues when coming out? Or perhaps an element of ‘fitting in’?
We want to find LGBT focus groups that can tell us from personal experience the reasons why they smoke/have ever smoked so that we can establish a trend and assess the support available. It is our job to protect everyone from the dangers of tobacco, so we believe that this research is essential in ensuring LGBT people have not only the right information but also the right support.
- If you know of any LGBT groups that will be able to assist us in our research, please get in touch – you could be a part of ensuring everyone has the right support in staying healthy and staying smokefree