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British gays urged to quit smoking

British gays urged to quit smoking

British gay, lesbian, bi and trans smokers are being urged to quit for No Smoking Day by health charity British Heart Foundation.

Every year on 14 March, the campaign is responsible for helping thousands of smokers to quit. It is hoped the solidarity of quitting together can help smokers to finally kick the bad habit.

According to the charity, smoking rates are often higher in LGBT communities. For example, 36% of gay men in the UK smoke, much higher than the national average of 21%.

Research also shows gay men start smoking earlier and smoke for longer than smokers in the general population.

The campaign welcomes people to attend a stop smoking course with the Health Equality Rights Association (HERO).

Michael Harris, 33, stopped smoking after 16 years attending a course.

He said: 'It truly helped me to stop. My friends kept on telling me my breath smelled after I had a cigarette. I didn’t do it for them, it was for my health.'

Approximately 10 million UK adults smoke, and roughly two thirds say want to stop.

HERO project manager Barrie Dwyer said: 'Around 85% of the participants on our stop smoking courses have quit smoking by the end of the seven week programme, which shows the beneficial effect of the support of others.

'No Smoking Day is an example of how the support of others and the solidarity of quitting together can help you through your quit attempt.'

Smokers can visit We Quit, an online hub full of information and tips on how to quit, or book a place on a HERO Stop Smoking course.