Just the Facts
- Smoking is deadly – The American Cancer Society estimates that over 30,000 LGBT people die each year of tobacco related diseases.
- 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.
- LGBT communities are among the populations most severely impacted by tobacco usage
- The LGBT community is 50 – 200% more likely to be addicted to smoking than the general public.
- Tobacco companies have targeted LGBT populations, compromising our communities’ work against this major health threat – tobacco as a social justice issue
- High levels of stress and discrimination for LGBT individuals helps contribute to tobacco usage
SMOKE SIGNALS — THE NEED-TO-KNOW
Sometimes being number one isn’t such a good thing. Smoking is currently the leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. Every year over 392,000 people die from tobacco-related diseases and 8.6 million Americans suffer from at least one serious illness or condition caused by smoking. The good news is that smoking prevalence is actually decreasing: In 2010, there were 45.3 million smokers in the U.S. (about nineteen percent of adults) — a 50 percent decrease from the 1960s.
Going cold turkey is notoriously tough because nicotine, the main chemical in tobacco, is an incredibly addictive substance. Nicotine alters the mood and acts as a stimulant, leading to feelings of well-being, stimulated memory and alertness, increased heart rate, decreased appetite, and elevated blood sugar.