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New York State Smokers' Quitline, NYC Treats Tobacco offer resources online & at upcoming NYC Pride Fest
Guest Editorial and Graphic by the New York State Smokers' Quitline
As the LGBTQIA+ community celebrates Pride Month this June, the New York State Smokers' Quitline offers its solidarity and resources to achieve better health. For those seeking freedom from addiction to tobacco and vape products, and for their health care professionals and allies, new customized flyers and cards are available by visiting the print materials section online at nysmokefree.com.
The Quitline assists all New York state residents regardless of race, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or disability. While overall smoking rates continue to decline statewide and nationwide, the LGBTQIA+ community experiences higher rates of use on average. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 6 (16.1%) of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults smoke cigarettes, compared with nearly 1 in 8 (12.3%) of heterosexual/straight adults. In addition, cigarette smoking is higher among transgender adults (35.5%), compared with adults whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex (cisgender). Here in New York state, residents who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are among the highest risk for all types of tobacco use, including cigarettes, vape products, hookah and cigars.
To reach the LGBTQIA+ community in New York state, the Quitline will partner with NYC Treats Tobacco to organize a booth at NYC Pride Fest on Sunday, June 26. Printed versions of the customized flyers and cards will be available, and on-site representatives with NYC Treats Tobacco will encourage event attendees to register at nysmokefree.com for free resources and telephonic coaching support. NYC Treats Tobacco, based physically at the NYU School of Global Public Health in Manhattan, is one of eight statewide regional contractors of Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York. NYC Treats Tobacco plans to distribute additional giveaway items at the booth, such as Pride-themed water bottles, bandanas and sunscreen.
The Quitline provides coaching support via phone at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487), via text messaging and online at nysmokefree.com. Most participants are eligible to receive a free starter kit of nicotine replacement therapy shipped to their home address, usually consisting of nicotine patches and/or nicotine gum or lozenges.
In addition to these and other free resources offered by the Quitline, the LGBTQIA+ community can visit the following two websites for tailored information:
√ CDC's Tips from Former Smokers Campaign: multiple stories are available involving the LGBTQIA+ community at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/groups/lgbt.html.
√ Outlast Tobacco: this initiative from the National LGBT Cancer Network including statistics and quit-tips at https://cancer-network.org/outlast-tobacco/.
The New York State Smokers' Quitline is for everyone – this especially means the LGBTQIA+ community, who unfortunately continue to exhibit higher rates of tobacco and vape-product use. As we celebrate Pride Month together this June, the Quitline reminds the LGBTQIA+ community, their health care professionals and all allies that free resources and coaching support is available to achieve freedom from nicotine and live a longer, healthier life.
The New York State Smokers' Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the first and busiest state in the nation, and has responded to nearly 3 million calls since it began operating in 2000. The Quitline encourages nicotine users to talk with their health care professionals and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for medication support. All New York state residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer's grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email [email protected].