• The #SmokeFreeStillFierce campaign targets same sex-attracted and queer women. (ACON)Source: ACON
A new advertising campaign hopes to tackle high rates of smoking among lesbian, bisexual and queer women.
Drew Sheldrick

2 May 2016 - 1:34 PM  UPDATED 2 May 2016 - 1:34 PM

A new tobacco reduction campaign targeting lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women has been launched in Sydney.

Created by LGBTQI health organisation ACON, the '#SmokeFreeStillFierce' campaign is an attempt to tackle what it refers to as "alarmingly high" smoking rates for LBQ women.

Unlike the general population, smoking rates for women in the LBQ communities have not shifted in the past 10 years. ACON says results show they are more than twice as likely to smoke as women in the general population.

The Cancer Institute of NSW provided funding to ACON to develop the specifically targeted campaign, which was announced by NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner. Researchers from the University of Sydney also assisted in developing the campaign.

“Our research findings suggest that LBQ women who smoke were well aware of the health impacts of smoking and also knew about smoking cessation strategies," ACON 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.”

#SmokeFreeStillFierce will address the relationship that LBQ women have with smoking, such as a means to handle stress, navigate social spaces, form identity and image.

“This is in keeping with ACON’s broader experience of peer based interventions and messaging having the ability to reach our communities where mainstream messaging has struggled," Koonin said.

There's further information about the #SmokeFreeStillFierce campaign here.