We need to do more to reduce tobacco's impact on the LGBT community.
June is lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month, an annual celebration of LGBT equality. This is a month to celebrate the advances made for LGBT rights and equality, but also to look at what can still be done to eliminate LGBT discrimination and disparities.
LGBT is one area that's often overlooked, especially in relation to tobacco use. LGBT individuals face adversity from social stigma and exclusion, which leads to increased likelihood of risky behaviors, like tobacco use.
The 2013-2017 smoking prevalence for lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals in Wisconsin is 26%. That number stands in stark contrast to the overall 2017 Wisconsin smoking prevalence rate of 16%.
You can show your support by attending local Pride Fest, parades and other community events that support the LGBT community and allow for informational sharing on the burden of tobacco. For more information about the Youth2Youth 4 Change coalition go to rcy2y.com or like us on Facebook at Youth2Youth.
The Wisconsin tobacco quit line provides free quit tobacco assistance regardless of orientation and identification, by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW today. Mikah Montes-Aguilar