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Smoking now the biggest health risk for LGBTI Americans not HIV

Smoking is now deadlier for LGBTIs than HIV as gay Americans continue to smoke at higher rates while advances in medicine have seen a decline in deaths from HIV
A discarded cigarette butt
Photo by SillyPuttyEnemies

Smoking tobacco is now a bigger killer for people in the LGBTI community than HIV and the US Surgeon General has released a video campaign specifically targeting them to encourage them to quit.

According to the US Network for LGBT Health Equity having HIV as a non-smoker takes an average of 5.1 years off one’s life but people who smoke and have HIV will die 12.3 years earlier on average.

Center for Disease Control statistics show that while 20.5% of Americans smoke, 30.8% of the LGBTI population in the US use tobacco products and higher rates of smoking among LGBTIs in other countries have been observed as well.

The Center for Disease Control will target LGBTIs who smoke this month as part of its Tips From Former Smokers Campaign with a video featuring a HIV positive man named Brian who smoked for 30 years before a smoking and HIV related stroke nearly killed him.

The Office of the Surgeon General and CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health have also launched a video about smoking disparities in LGBT communities featuring Dr Scout from CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity.

‘We know that approximately one million LGBT people [in the US] will die early from tobacco-related causes - we want to save those lives instead,’ Dr Scout said.

‘The first step is spreading the news that LGBT people smoke at such high rates. We’re very pleased to see the Surgeon General’s Office and CDC recognizing LGBT pride month by releasing all these resources to help us raise awareness.’

Watch the videos below

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