It’s time to quit: Join the Gay American Smoke Out today!

Even if you don't quit today, at least commit to doing it soon

Want to do yourself and others around you a favor? Then use this day to make the decision to quit smoking.

Smoking is not only really bad for you — it can lead to cancer (lung, voice box, throat, esophagus and bladder), breathing issues like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis) and cardiac ones as well (heart attack, stroke, blood vessel and eye diseases) — it’s bad for those who are around you — secondhand smoke. In fact, secondhand smoke is as dangerous as actually smoking, so says the American Cancer Society.

Here’s the information that the Gay American Smoke Out shares on their site. It may be helpful to you should you make that all-to-important step to quit today.

The Gay American Smoke Out is an opportunity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) individuals to challenge themselves to quit smoking. It is also an opportunity for LGBT organizations to provide resources for quitting and host fun events to raise awareness about tobacco use.

Why Gay?

To counter high prevalence rates of tobacco use among the LGBT community, awareness and culturally relevant anti-smoking messages and intervention services must be initiated. The Gay American Smoke Out is an easy, low-cost project to adopt.

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The Gay American Smoke Out is an opportunity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) individuals to challenge themselves to quit smoking. It is also an opportunity for organizations to provide resources for quitting and host fun events to raise awareness about tobacco use.

History of the Gay American Smoke Out

The Gay American Smoke Out was first introduced in 1994 by the Billy DeFrank Lesbian and Gay Community Center. Typically held on the 3rd Thursday in November, The “Gay American Smoke Out” was created to coincide with the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smokeout.”

Gay Smoking Statistics

The LGBT community has the highest rate of smoking than any other minority population.
— NY Times, 1999

A 1999 house-hold based survey found that 48.5 percent of gay and bisexual men reported smoking. The national average for straight men is 28.6 percent.

Quit Tips

Set a Quit Date. Make sure it is within the next 30 days.

Call your friends. Tell them you are going to quit and ask for their support.

Make it hard to get and smoke a cigarette. Wrap your pack in rubber bands. Don’t buy tobacco. Throw your cigarettes away.

Switch hands. If you smoke with your right hand, try smoking with your left.

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Switch brands.

Smoke fewer cigarettes per day or take smaller puffs.

If you break down and have a cigarette, don’t worry! It takes several attempts for most people to successfully quit! The average is 7 attempts.

Queer Slip Tips

Slips are normal. Don’t beat yourself up or give up. Think about the victory at hand.

Trying Counts! Every quit is worthwhile. You have lived tobacco free — you can do it again. Keep trying. You’ve got the power to be victorious!

Forgive yourself. So you screwed up. We do it at one time or another. Don’t give into feelings of guilt, weakness or failure. Instead, applaud yourself for every tobacco free moment.

Think about what triggered the slip. Why did you turn to tobacco? Look at the big picture and rework your plan to prepare for that same trigger situation in the future.

Don’t deprive yourself. Reward yourself. Feeling deprived might drive you to using again. Congratulate yourself instead and give yourself another, more healthful reward. You deserve it.

Try, try again.

1. Throw out any tobacco you may have.
2. Pick up where you left off and remind yourself how far you’ve come.
3. If your slips are frequent — see help from others.

Commit to quit! The longer you go with out cigarettes the easier it is. Every tobacco-free moment is a victory! Go for it!

info: gaysmokeout.net. cancer.org.

 

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Posted by Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988, x205.