LONDON — Smoking is now a bigger killer for people in the LGBT community than HIV and the U.S. Surgeon General has released a video campaign specifically targeting them to encourage them to quit, Gay Star News reports.
According to the U.S. Network for LGBT Health Equity, having HIV as a non-smoker takes an average of 5.1 years off one’s life but people who smoke and have HIV will die 12.3 years earlier on average.
Centers for Disease Control statistics show that while 20.5 percent of Americans smoke, 30.8 percent of the LGBT population in the U.S. use tobacco products and higher rates of smoking among LGBT people in other countries have been observed as well.
The Centers for Disease Control will target LGBT residents who smoke this month as part of its “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign with a video featuring a HIV-positive man named Brian who smoked for 30 years before a smoking- and HIV-related stroke nearly killed him.
The Office of the Surgeon General and CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health have also launched a video about smoking disparities in LGBT communities featuring Dr. Scout from CenterLink’s Network for LGBT Health Equity.
“We know that approximately one million LGBT people [in the U.S.] will die early from tobacco-related causes — we want to save those lives instead,” the article quoted Scout as having said.