2 women holding sign #SmokeFreeStillFierce#SmokeFreeStillFierce takes a fresh and engaging approach to tackle persistently high smoking rates for LBQ women.

With alarmingly high smoking rates being recorded among lesbian, bisexual, and queer women, ACON has launched a new and groundbreaking campaign.

Unlike the general population, smoking rates among women in the LBQ communities have not shifted for over ten years. Results also show they are more than twice as likely to smoke compared to women in the general population.

#SmokeFreeStillFierce will take a fresh and engaging approach to tackling these persistently high numbers. The campaign is specifically targeted to engage LBQ women, with funding coming from the Cancer Institute of NSW.

ACON’s research findings suggest that women in LBQ communities are aware of the health implications of smoking and also know about ways t quit.

ACON’s President Justin Koonin said, “What they wanted was a campaign that spoke to them in positive and inspiring ways, avoiding fear-based imagery or messaging. Most importantly, women wanted to hear about the experiences and quitting strategies from other women in their community.”

Using ACON’s broad experience of peer-based interventions and messaging,  #SmokeFreeStillFierce will focus on empowering messages that come from influential community figures. It will centre around key messages that address the relationship LBQ women have with smoking, including stress management, navigating social spaces, and forming identity and image.

This campaign is an important step for the health organisation, Dr. Koonin said. “We’ve long wanted to do more to address health issues for women in our communities and we are extremely grateful to the Cancer Institute NSW for funding this initiative and recognising the need to explore more direct and tailored approaches to reducing the rate of smoking in our communities.”

For more information about the #SmokeFreeStillFierce campaign, click here.