Only a week ago the British Government singled out the LGBTI community as having a serious problem with smoking.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock vowed to end smoking cigarettes in the UK by 2030. But in his mission, he said smoking rates among the LGBTI community remains ‘stubbornly high’.
‘The gains in tobacco control have been hard-won, and there’s still much to do,’ a government document on the issue reads.
We know that societal pressure, discrimination and stigma can lead LGBTI to start smoking cigarettes. Anecdotal evidence suggests smoking rates among LGBTI people are far higher than the heterosexual population.
Smoking among LGBTI people is a crisis and is leading to serious health problems for the community. Government and health organizations have known for a long time that smoking is a serious threats to LGBTI people. But not much has been done to protect them.
‘I think smoking is one of the few unspoken issues that remain in our community,’ said Matilda Davies, a lesbian who is on quitting smoking journey.
‘Everyone in the community knows from their friends and family how prevalent smoking still is, despite generally being a social taboo.’
You’re invited to our landmark event at The Embassy
But Gay Star News has decided to do something about this.
We’ve teamed up with our health section sponsor Philip Morris Limited and their Unsmoke Your World campaign. But most importantly we’ve launched a survey to find out why people smoke and use the findings to inform policy and convince lawmakers to help end the crisis.
On Thursday 24 July we’re hosting an important event to put a spotlight on the issue as never before within our community.
We’re inviting LGBTI community leaders, supporters and politicians for an evening at our building – The Embassy – to highlight smoking, the harm it does to our community, and what we’re doing to tackle this issue.
‘Smoking is dangerous and damaging, but remains an issue ignored by sensationalist media, so it’s important to make sure this conversation happens,’ Davies said.
Guests can enjoy free drinks and canapés. But will also have an opportunity to share their views about how our community can quit or switch to smoke-free alternatives.
‘We know that LGBTI people are more likely to smoke than others,’ said Gay Star News’ editor-in-chief, Tris Reid-Smith.
‘In fact, smoking is very likely the biggest premature killer of LGBTI people there is. But despite knowing that, the government and major organisations have done little to examine the problem, let alone to fix it.
‘This is a conversation we urgently need to have as a community.’
Reid-Smith added: ‘So I am delighted to be hosting an event where we look at the experiences of smoking and talk about how we can kick the habit. We promise an informative and inspiring night in our beautiful building, The Embassy. If you care about LGBTI health, you’ll definitely want to join us.’
Come along to our event
We encourage all people interested in health, especially LGBTI health, to attend this major event.
If you would like to come along, please find details and RSVP to the event here.
What: LGBTI SMOKING: Ridding smoke from our community
Where: The Embassy
129 Mile End Road
E1 4BG London
When: Wednesday, 24 July 2019 from 18:30 to 22:00 (BST)