Your next quit smoking attempt could go the distance

Did you know smoking rates are higher for LGBTQ+ communities than the general population? Quitting cigarettes can be difficult (like your ex!), but every quit attempt is a step closer to stopping smoking for good. 


Why should I quit smoking?

There are so many reasons why quitting smoking for good will be the best decision you ever make. Quitting smoking leads to: 

feeling Better

  • On average, people who quit smoking experience a 40% increase in positive emotions (1)
  • You’re more likely to reduce your stress levels by becoming a non-smoker (1)

Reducing your cancer risk 

  • Smoking causes 16 different types of cancer including lung, throat, mouth, stomach, bowel, bladder, breast and cervical cancer (2)
  • Within 5 years of quitting, your risk of cervical cancer is the same as someone who has never smoked (3)
  • Ten years after you quit, your risk of lung cancer is less than half that of someone who continues to smoke (3)


Improving your health 

  • A few months after you quit, you’ll feel fitter and healthier (4)
  • Five years after quitting smoking, your risk of stroke has significantly reduced (5)
  • 15 years after quitting smoking, your risk of heart disease is around the same as someone who’s never smoked (6)

Looking better 

  • Quitting smoking leads to healthier looking skin, including a lower chance of acne and psoriasis (7)
  • When you quit smoking, there is less risk of losing your teeth, having yellow teeth or bad breath (8)
  • Smoking can cause your nails to turn yellow, but just three months after quitting, the tobacco stains on your fingers begin to fade (9)

Better sex 

  • Quitting smoking strengthens your libido and increases your stamina (10, 11)
  • If you have a penis, quitting smoking can lead to faster and harder erections (12)

Saving Money

Cha-ching, quitting smoking saves serious money. Let’s say you’re a pack-a-day smoker and spend $42 on cigarettes a day (13): 

  • $294 per week: World Pride Mardi Gras Party ticket, date night at a restaurant, that air fryer you’ve been eyeing, a couple of Jo Malone scented candles or pole dancing classes you’ve been wanting to do
  • $1,176 per month: Removalist to move in (after that successful date night), upgrade your phone, a yoga retreat in the Blue Mountains, personal training sessions to help create the new you, or a long weekend getaway in the bush (no pun intended)!
  • $15,288 per year: Holiday to the Greek Islands, pay off your credit card balance or boost your superannuation
  • $76,440 in 5 years: A new car, pay off your HECS or start a new degree
  • $152,880 in 10 years: A deposit on a new unit or paying off a big chunk of your mortgage

How can I quit smoking?

Finding the right methods for you is so important in your quitting journey. You might use one or many, and different methods at each attempt. 


Where can I go for support with quitting?

If it’s your first attempt or your thirty-first attempt to quit, there are so many places to find support*. 

You can call NSW Quitline on 13 7848 or 13 QUIT to speak with a Counsellor. ACON in partnership with Cancer Institute NSW have recently provided all NSW Quitline Counsellors with LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion training. 

Support options include: 

  • Visiting iCanQuit for free online toolkit support 
  • Calling NSW Quitline on 13 7848 or 13 QUIT to speak with a Counsellor
  • Using My QuitBuddy
  • Talking to your doctor about prescription medication or Nicotine Replacement Therapy
  • Chatting with the Quitly chatbot on Facebook Messenger 
  • Speaking to a counsellor through ACON Pride Counselling  

* Can We is a platform for LGBTQ communities living in NSW, meaning our recommendations are for NSW residents. For other state-based resources visit:


How prevalent is smoking in LGBTQ+ communities?

Research shows that LGBTQ+ communities have higher rates of smoking than the general population.  


  • 11% of the general Australian population smoke daily (15)
  • Amongst gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Australia, 16% smoke daily (15)
  • 18% of lesbian, bisexual and queer women (cis and trans) living in Sydney smoke daily (16) 
  • 18.4% of people living with HIV in Australia smoke daily (17) 


There is no data on trans and gender diverse populations and smoking in Australia, however in one national US study 35.5% of trans people smoke daily (18), and in another study from San Francisco 62.3% of trans women smoke daily (19).   

Why are there higher rates of smoking in LGBTQ+ communities?

Our communities have faced and continue to face adversity, stigma, and discrimination. We can feel a lack of support from family and peers, and we can experience depression, low self-esteem and stressful life events, such as coming out. 

It’s no surprise that many of us will find community in smoking or turn to cigarettes to relieve stress and anxiety. But you always have other options like join a gay-friendly sports team, spend time with positive people, find a new hobby, or treat yourself to something that relaxes you. 

action_082-email-envelope-send-contactCreated with Sketch.

Frequently Asked Questions