Tobacco use/smoking can be perceived as a social activity to feel like you belong. Smoking shouldn't be used as a social activity because it isn't healthy and forms bad habits. It's vital to live a vibrant life and you must know that you are enough and you belong so live a life that celebrates your truth, beauty, and health.
Smoking in the LGBTQ+ community is 70% higher than overall national rates. The plethora of stressors such as isolation, discrimination, ostracization, and more make smoking a low hanging fruit that people can reach for and get a quick release but this is unhealthy. The addictiveness of smoking can and has destroyed many a lives and relationships.
DID YOU KNOW...
BIG TOBACCO OWNS ALMOST EVERY MAJOR VAPING COMPANY/PRODUCT IN THE US.
FIGHT AGAINST TOBACCO IN YOUR LIFE
KNOW THE SIGNS
BE AWARE OF THE SIGNALS
Tobacco companies use false images of happiness or fun in association with smoking; don't fall for these tricks as smoking is not a healthy life choice.
REMEMBER THAT YOU BELONG
Smoking is used as a means of fitting in with the crowd, feeling accepted, or feeling like you belong. Remember that you are enough and you belong. Smoking will not make you fit in any better.
REPLACE THE SMOKING WITH THE GOOD
You can't just stop smoking. You must find good things/activities that you can focus on doing when you might get urges to smoke. Talking to friends or a partner, playing a free game on your phone, breathing exercises, stretching, exercising, crossword puzzles, singing, rapping, writing, etc. Keep trying things until you find what works for you. Everyone is different; what might work for one person may not work for you and vice versa. Replace the bad with the good.
KNOW YOUR STRESSORS
When you are feeling negative stressors and getting that urge to smoke, find something positive to do that will provide you the relief you are seeking. Also find healthy ways to address your stressors and overcome them. Talk to a counselor, friends, meditate, join a fun weekly group activity, turn off social media, etc. Do different things that may work for you but tackle those stressors and become stronger for it.
DOWNLOAD THE SMOKE FREE MEDIA GUIDE
Learn about the work that Reality Check has been doing to keep smoking off the screens and save lives. Also learn the facts about the harms of smoking and the ways you can fight back and live a smoke free life.