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LGBT Tobacco Prevention Initiative

According to data from researchers in West Virginia University's School of Public Health and the state Bureau for Public Health's Division of Tobacco Prevention nearly 41 percent of people in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community smoke, compared to 23.9 percent of the state's general population. While research has not determined a reason for the higher rates, tobacco advertising and stressors play a role for their higher smoking rates.  Stressors including bullying and homophobia can drive people to smoke.  Smoking is about stress, and without being comfortable to talk about stressors, including societal pressures related to sexual orientation, a person isn't likely to successfully quit smoking.

Covenant House will assist the LGBT community members in recognizing the high use of tobacco within their community and successful ways to quit smoking. In addition to efforts at Charleston venues and events, cessation classes will be offered at LGBT faith and community based events and for HIV affected persons in Southern West Virginia. Covent House will also offer mini-grants to assist LGBT groups statewide with tobacco prevention efforts.

Covenant House was founded in 1981 to help people with the fewest resources meet their basic needs: food, clothing and shelter.  After 31 years, their core mission remains the same.  Whether a person is homeless, facing eviction or needs food for their table, Covenant House is a safety net, an advocate and a safe haven in times of crisis.

For more information about the LGBT Tobacco Prevention Initiative contact Michael Vincent at Covenant House or Paul Milam at Covenant House pmilam@wvcovenanthouse or see link below.

LGBT Flyer


Department of Health and Human Resources
350 Capitol Street | Room 514 | Charleston, WV 25301 | Phone: (304) 356-4193 | Toll-free: (866) 384-5250 | Fax: (304) 558-1553

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