Skip to main content
LGBTIQ background

Supporting LGBTIQA+ communities to become smokefree

Did you know: Smoking rates in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and asexual (LGBTIQA+) communities are about double the national average? Quit is a culturally safe space, here to empower people in the LGBTIQA+ community who smoke to quit. Quitline counsellors can also support you to quit vaping, or support you if you're using vapes to stop smoking.

Quit's projects with the LGBTIQA+ community to raise awareness

Quit worked with LGBTIQA+ organisations, including Thorne Harbour HealthMinus 18 and Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF) to raise awareness of high smoking rates in the LGBTIQA+ community. 

Projects include: 


Held as part of MQFF 2019, the Smokescreen panel event at ACMI explored the links between queer art, film and culture, and LGBTIQA+ health and human rights.

One of the reasons why smoking rates in LGBTIQA+ communities are double compared to the general population is because of tobacco companies' marketing tactics which have exploited queer popular culture. 

Research shows that movies with LGBTIQA+ themes contain a depiction of tobacco use every 15 minutes!

Smokescreen was hosted by Australian author, journalist and screenwriter Benjamin Law. 

The panel discussion included:

Ro Allen, Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality

  • Dr Julie Mooney-Somers, Senior Lecturer in Qualitative Health Research at the University of Sydney.

  • Cerise Howard, Co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque, co-founder of tilde: Melbourne Trans and Gender Diverse Film Festival, and Artistic Director of the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia.

  • Jordan Raskopoulos, Australian comedian, actor and singer.

  • Colin Batrouney, Director of Health Promotion, Policy and Communications at Thorne Harbour Health.

  • Todd Harper, CEO Cancer Council Victoria

Interview with author, journalist and screenwriter, Benjamin Law
Interview with Dr Julie Mooney-Somers (Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health, University of Sydney)


In 2019, Quit partnered with Melbourne Queer Film Festival and Thorne Harbour Health to provide a platform from which budding filmmakers across Australia could produce material that could empower LGBTIQA+ communities to live smokefree. A short film competition - QuitFlicks - was born. The competition ran for two years and the resulting short films are powerful, innovative and sincere - made by and for the LGBTIQA+ community. Watch all the QuitFlicks short films here.

Screenwriter and member of the competition judging panel, Benjamin Law, said all films were of an exceptional standard.

“We were blown away by the quality of the entries," Law said. "We’re so grateful for everyone who invested their time and effort to support social justice across our communities."

The competition attracted an incredible 4000-plus people who either watched or voted for their favourite film.

The competition helps us and our partners at MQFF and Thorne Harbour Health start a conversation about the normalisation of smoking in the LGBTIQA+ community.

Rolled by Rosie Pavlovic: QuitFlicks 2020 film comp winner
Fuming by Sam McGowan: Keep the Vibe Alive short (QuitFlicks) 2019 film comp winner

Quitline is a culturally safe space

In January 2019, Quit worked with LGBTIQA+ communities to continue to make Quitline an inclusive and a culturally safe space. Quitline counsellors can chat to LGBTIQA+ communities in a culturally appropriate and accessible way. 

LGBTIQA+ peers also work in the service. 

Since this recent collaboration, calls to the Quitline from LGBTIQA+ communities have increased. 

Quitline counsellors offer personalised support over your quitting journey. They can help plan, make and sustain your quit attempt. 

Calling Quitline — 13 7848 or request a callback — increases the chance of quitting. 

Back to top of page