“Sometimes you know that you want to make changes to your life, but you just need a bit of help,” said Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes for GMFA. “Most people try to quit smoking by themselves but the evidence shows that you are much more likely to succeed in your attempt to quit as part of course. Because our Stop Smoking course is specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people it creates a more supportive environment to help you quit – and this has helped make our Stop Smoking courses even more effective than standard NHS courses.”
Gay men are more likely to smoke than their straight counterparts. A staggering 40% of gay men are smokers – rising to 60% for 25 to 34 year olds – way above the national average of 22%. Lesbians are also more likely to have smoked than heterosexual women. For HIV positive gay men the story is worse still as they are more likely than other gay men to be heavy smokers. While about half of all smokers die of a smoking related illness, stopping smoking dramatically reduces this risk, even within days of quitting.
“I used to have a 20 a day habit, and more if I was drinking, but I’ve not had a cigarette since I did the course, more than ten years ago now,” adds Hodson. “In that time I must have saved myself more than £25,000 and I feel stronger and healthier for it too. The course really does work, so if you’ve been looking for that extra push to help you quit, sign up now.”
GMFA’s next stop smoking course starts on Sunday 27th January, from 3.00 to 5.00pm, at GMFA’s offices near Old Street, and continues every Sunday afternoon for seven weeks. To book a place visit: www.gmfa.org.uk/stopsmoking.