Tobacco-control project targeting lesbians, bisexual and queer women

The Cancer Institute NSW (the cancer control agency for NSW) awarded an Evidence to Practice grant to ACON (NSW’s leading health-promotion organisation specialising in HIV and LGBTI health). I’m delighted to be the research partner on the grant.

The grant is titled “Tobacco-control project targeting lesbians, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women” and will run until mid-2016. The grant was awarded on evidence from the research I’ve been doing with ACON (and colleague Rachel Deacon) in the SWASH project that shows lesbian and bisexual women in Sydney are smoking at twice the rate of their heterosexual peers, and that rates have changed little despite significant mainstream public health interventions.

This grant is a real win. It is a testament to ACON’s commitment to this area, their strategic plan for 2013-2018 outlined a range of commitments to addressing smoking in LGBTI communities, including:

“seek funding to use our considerable social marketing expertise to identify and address the current high rates of smoking in our communities.”

It is also a testament to the Cancer Institute’s responsiveness to an area that has long been neglected in Australia (compared to the US, for example). And I’ve really pleased that the SWASH survey was key to providing an evidence base for a lack of movement in smoking rates among lesbian and bisexual women in Sydney.

The project will use ACON’s expertise in community-based social marketing to develop a smoking intervention to be delivered online and through community spaces and events. Will update here as the project progresses….

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