QuitFlicks: Supporting the LGBTIQ+ community to become smokefree

Tuesday 4 February, 2020

The LGBTIQ+ community faces unique social pressures that lead to higher smoking rates. But an award-winning film competition by Quit is inspiring them to stop smoking.

Research, awareness campaigns and support services made possible thanks to Cancer Council supporters have reduced the percentage of daily smokers in Victoria to 10% – down from 35% in the 1980s.

But alarmingly, smoking rates in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) communities are nearly three times higher than the national average.

Cancer Council’s Quit campaign conducted exploratory research with community members, who told us that some of the reasons why they smoke.

These included:

  • Coping with stress
  • Experiencing discrimination
  • Social anxiety
  • Rejection from loved ones
  • Experience of trauma
  • Social normalisation in social circles and venues
  • Links to alcohol and other drug use

With this in mind, Quit are committed to helping support LGBTIQ+ communities with their efforts to become smokefree.

Quit stars at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival

One example of this commitment is the QuitFlicks competition.

Each year, four talented filmmakers are selected to bring their short film concept to life – challenging smoking among LGBTIQ+ communities.

All finalists receive a grant to turn their concept into a short film, and once the public votes on their favourite submission, the two top-voted films air before each screening at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival (MQFF).

The 2019 competition was a draw between the two winning films – ‘Fuming’ by Sam McGowan and ‘The Third Wheel’ by Millie Hayes.

Fuming by Sam McGowan: 2019 QuitFlicks winner

The Third Wheel by Millie Hayes: 2019 QuitFlicks winner

Quit Victoria Director Sarah White says she was delighted to join an alliance of dedicated organisations to deliver the QuitFlicks program, now in its second year.

 “We are really excited to partner with MQFF to start a conversation about LGBTIQ+ issues related to smoking and to understand how we can empower members of the community to quit for good,” said Dr White.

“This partnership is part of a broader alliance between Quit, Thorne Harbour Health and Minus18 working together to reduce the impact of smoking on the LGBTIQ+ community.”

Quit Victoria Director Sarah White

In December last year, Quit Victoria and their QuitFlicks partners won a 2019 VicHealth Award.

The Award is the State’s highest honour for health promotion, and recognises the good work that Quit is doing to create a healthier Victoria.

This important and award-winning work has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Victorian community.

Check out the 2020 talent!

Filmmakers were asked to show how to ‘cope and connect without the smokes’ for this year’s competition.

QuitFlicks has asked this year’s applicants to demonstrate alternative ways of coping and connecting while promoting the benefits of quitting for physical, mental and financial health.

This year’s winner and runner up have been announced!

Winner: 'Rolled' by Rosie Pavlovic

'Rolled' by Rosie Pavlovic

Runner-up: 'Stressless Sam' by Hugh Murray

 'Stressless Sam' by Hugh Murray

Anyone can call the free and confidential Quitline to increase their chances of quitting successfully.

Quit Counsellors are trained to listen carefully to you and help you meet your needs.

Call Quitline on 13 78 78