The rm2breathe program addresses the growing disparity in tobacco use between LGBT and heterosexual individuals in the state of Wisconsin. While about 20% of the Wisconsin population smokes, 44% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults in the state are smokers. This represents an annual lifetime loss of approximately 6,960 years at a cost of $297,632,000 to the gay community and to the state of Wisconsin.
Several factors have been cited as possible reasons for the disparity between smoking rates in the LGBT and general population. They include: higher levels of economic and social marginalization, stresses resulting from homophobia and discrimination, frequent patronage of bars and clubs, lack of smoke-free social venues, higher rates of alcohol and drug use, and direct targeting to LGBT consumers by the tobacco industry.
This program was also created to fill a need for smoking cessation programs that are culturally competent working with the LGBT community in Wisconsin. It is hoped that you, as lesbian, gay, bisexual and / or transgender individuals want to participate in groups to quit smoking, and you will make good use of these groups because of lowered concerns about homophobia and coming out to their heterosexual peers. You are invited as part of the program to recruit your partners and LGBT friends to serve as support to you in quitting tobacco use; it will also be useful to recruit others in your friendship networks and families to quit.
The rm2breathe program is a stop smoking group intervention adapted from the GMFA’s Stop Smoking Course. This program was developed and generously provided to Diverse & Resilient for adaptation by the GMFA in London, England. The Stop Smoking Course is the only smoking cessation group program, to date, proven effective to help non-heterosexual individuals stop smoking. The original program was evaluated with gay men and now is being adapted to be used with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in Wisconsin.