When did smoking change for you—from something you thought you controlled, to something that now controls you? Well, with a little help, you’ll have the power to support you in quitting tobacco. You wouldn’t be on this page if you weren’t thinking about making that happen, so let’s see how we can support you!
Just the facts.
Let’s just get straight to the point. You know that smoking isn’t good for you. Scratch that (let’s be even more real here). You know that smoking is hurting you. So if everyone knows that smoking hurts the smoker, why do so many GLBTs still do it? Check out these little factoids.
- Members of the GLBT community are between 40% and 70% more likely to smoke than non-GLBT individuals.
- Lesbians smoke approximately three times more than straight women.
- Approximately 38–50% of GLBT youth smoke, compared to 28–35% of non-GLBT youth.
- Tobacco use—which is responsible for heart disease, strokes and many cancers—is the single most preventable cause of death in the United States.
- Each year, more deaths result directly from tobacco use than from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined.
- A recent study at the University of Minnesota showed that more than 50% of the patients in a transgender health clinic who received hormone therapy were current or past smokers, and the rate of current smokers among the patients was almost double the smoking rate found in the general population.
- In the mid-1990s, tobacco control professionals discovered documents that revealed the tobacco industry’s marketing campaign, “Project SCUM” (Sub Culture Urban Marketing). This campaign was an aggressive attempt to increase smoking and brand loyalty among homeless people and lesbian, gay and bisexual adults in San Francisco’s Castro district.
Ready to quit? Here are some tips to get you started.
When you’re quitting, it’s important to understand your triggers and how to cope with them. Your triggers are any situations or states of mind you’re in when you typically use tobacco. They’re the times and situations that are going to be your biggest challenges as you quit. Below are some examples of common triggers, as well as ideas for how to deal with them without giving in to tobacco.
- After meals: Brush your teeth; have mints, toothpicks, gum or seeds to chew on; be patient—the craving will eventually pass.
- Morning ritual: Eat breakfast; brush your teeth; sleep in later than usual.
- In between classes, during work breaks, after school: Have a snack, gum, suckers or seeds handy; hang out with friends who don’t smoke/chew; remind yourself that you’ve already made it through half of the day.
- At Parties: Drink plenty of water or diet soda; eat healthy snacks; chew on gum or a toothpick; stay positive and think about the progress you’ve made.
- In My Car: Sing along with your music; chew gum; roll down your window and get some fresh air; suck on a lollipop.
- Bored: Call a friend; play a game; go online; watch a movie.
- Stressed: Exercise; listen to music; remember that smoking/chewing won’t make the problem/stress go away.
- Depressed: Call a friend; write an email to someone; write in your journal; exercise.
- Arguments: Take a walk; scream; work out; write in your journal; call a friend.
- Living or hanging out with smokers: Be confident that you can make your own decisions, regardless of what others choose to do; go to a room where people aren’t smoking/chewing; drink some water; stay busy with a hobby or your homework. Be strong. Remember that you’re in control.
Quitting’s not easy. Good thing you don’t have to do it alone.
Step into the smoke-free labs of Quit Doing It. It’s a place where some of the best and brightest are working around the clock to offer you new and innovative tools to help you quit smoking. And if you still need that last extra nudge to convince you now really is the best time for you to quit, they’ll do that for you, too. Check it out at QuitDoingItLabs.com.
This thing is pretty cool. And better yet, it’s really working for people. The FixNixer is an innovative and interactive text-messaging quitting tool (say that ten times fast) that puts you in control of your own quit plan. Go to FixNixer.com to sign up for this free, anonymous and customizable program that can help you quit your tobacco habit in just 21 days.
Check it out: A phone line just for quitters. The Colorado QuitLine will connect you to a trained Quit Coach, who will work with you to develop a personalized quit plan and give you the guidance and support you need along the way. If you’re 18 years of age or older, the QuitLine will even give you a free supply of nicotine patches. (Who doesn’t love a freebie?) And check this out: with the QuitLine, you’re seven times more likely to quit successfully. No kidding. So having a little help might be your thing, there’s no reason to try and go it alone. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.