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That short and to-the-point fact -- and many others just as direct -- can already be found imprinted in large type on most of the cigarette packaging sold outside of the United States, and are soon expected to be coming to a pack of cigarettes near you.
The LGBT community has incredibly high rates when it comes to cigarette smoking, even today, after decades of research and hundreds of thousands of deaths have proven that smoking is indeed "hazardous" to your health and those around you.
Not only are smoking rates among the LGBT community high, they are much higher than the rest of the population (a recent study says as much as 3 times higher), and statistics show it is even more prevalent in cases of our youth.
According to the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network's webpage, "In a recent national study on adolescent health, 45% of females and 35% of males who reported same-sex attraction or behavior smoked; compared to only 29% for the rest of the youth."
They also report that the American Cancer Society estimates that "over 30,000 LGBT people die each year of tobacco related diseases."
What is the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network (TCN)?
It is a program of Fenway Health.
With headquarters in Boston, the mission of Fenway Health is "to enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all people in our neighborhoods and beyond, through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy."
Fenway Health has also operated the Fenway Institute -- the nation's first community-based, long-term epidemiological HIV research program -- since 1985.
The National LGBT TCN exists because:
It offers contact information for "Quit Lines," LGBT and LGBT-friendly coalitions focused on prevention and cessation programs across the United States, the "cold hard truth" of statistics, and a myriad of resources.
Not only does the National LGBT TCN act as a clearinghouse for research and other anti-smoking information, it also works to support the many local tobacco control advocates to help eliminate tobacco health disparities for all LGBT people.
The TCN recently released their "Quit Guide" -- a free, six-page, full-color, downloadable pdf document that focuses specifically on LGBT smoking habit statistics, risk factors, support groups, resources and cessation tips, all in one easy guide.
Why are members of the LGBTQ community more likely to smoke than those in the general public?
The Quit Guide goes into great detail about these factors, but one reason our community smokes more is because the discrimination and challenges endured create more stress at earlier ages. The LGBT community also tends to gather at bars and social events where smoking is a prevalent part of the activity.
Another sad truth is that the tobacco industry targets the LGBT community, just as it does youth.
So quit smoking in 2012.
Download the free Quit Guide produced by the National LGBT TCN, by clicking HERE.
Follow the National LGBT TCN on Twitter.
Follow Fenway Health on Twitter.