The Gay American Smoke Out is an opportunity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) individuals to challenge themselves to quit smoking. It is also an opportunity for LGBT organizations to provide resources for quitting and host fun events to raise awareness about tobacco use.
To counter high prevalence rates of tobacco use among the LGBT community, awareness and culturally relevant anti-smoking messages and intervention services must be initiated. The Gay American Smoke Out is an easy, low-cost project to adopt.
The Gay American Smoke Out is an opportunity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) individuals to challenge themselves to quit smoking. It is also an opportunity for organizations to provide resources for quitting and host fun events to raise awareness about tobacco use.
History of the Gay American Smoke Out
The Gay American Smoke Out was first introduced in 1994 by the Billy DeFrank Lesbian and Gay Community Center. Typically held on the 3rd Thursday in November, The "Gay American Smoke Out" was created to coincide with the American Cancer Society's "Great American Smokeout"
Gay Smoking Statistics
The LGBT community has the highest rate of smoking than any other minority population.
— NY Times, 1999
A 1999 house-hold based survey found that 48.5% of gay and bisexual men reported smoking. The national average for straight men is 28.6%.
Set a Quit Date. Make sure it is within the next 30 days.
Call your friends. Tell them you are going to quit and ask for their support.
Make it hard to get and smoke a cigarette. Wrap your pack in rubber bands. Don't buy tobacco. Throw your cigarettes away.
Switch hands. If you smoke with your right hand, try smoking with your left.
Smoke fewer cigarettes per day or take smaller puffs.
If you break down and have a cigarette, don't worry! It takes several attempts for most people to successfully quit! The average is 7 attempts.
Queer Slip Tips
Slips are normal. Don't beat yourself up or give up. Think about the victory at hand.
Trying Counts! Every quit is worthwhile. You have lived tobacco free — you can do it again. Keep trying. You've got the power to be victorious!
Forgive yourself. So you screwed up. We do it at one time or another. Don't give into feelings of guilt, weakness or failure. Instead, applaud yourself for every tobacco free moment.
Think about what triggered the slip. Why did you turn to tobacco? Look at the big picture and rework your plan to prepare for that same trigger situation in the future.
Don't deprive yourself. Reward yourself. Feeling deprived might drive you to using again. Congratulate yourself instead and give yourself another, more healthful reward. You deserve it.
Try, try again.
1. Throw out any tobacco you may have.
2. Pick up where you left off and remind yourself how far you've come.
3. If your slips are frequent — see help from others.
Commit to quit! The longer you go with out cigarettes the easier it is. Every tobacco-free moment is a victory! Go for it!