Sydney Health Ethics "Conversation"
Next week (17 May): Julie Mooney-Somers
In the next Sydney Health Ethics "Conversation" we will be welcoming Julie Mooney-Somers from the University of Sydney. Please come and join in the discussion.

Session: Thursday 17 May, 2018, 12-1pm, Sydney Health Ethics, Level 2 meeting room (#5211), Medical Foundation Bldg

Title: Why anti-smoking campaigns fail to engage Australian lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women who smoke. And why it matters

 There is robust international findings that lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women smoke at higher rates than their heterosexual peers. As part of a program of work funded by Cancer Institute NSW and in collaboration with ACON, our study sought to understand the significance of smoking for LBQ women. In this conversation I want to think about how mainstream anti-smoking campaigns have not only failed to engage LBQ women but may have been counter-productive. I will draw on data from 6 focus groups with 28 LBQ women (smokers and ex-smokers) in urban and regional settings. I will describe how mainstream messaging failed to connect with participants for three reasons. First, messaging and imagery were simply un-relatable: our participants saw old men, unhealthy people, no one ‘like them’. Women, when featured, quit smoking to fulfil family responsibilities. Second, LBQ women talked about resisting what they saw as an attempt to control them (often through scare tactics), they didn’t believe governments messaging a genuine care for them as LBQ women. Finally, women reacted negatively to the shame, guilt and stigma implicit in the campaigns they could recall. I’ll look briefly at what women did feel would resonate for them, and then review how this was articulated in the Smoke Free Still Fierce smoking cessation campaign developed by ACON. I’ve argued that tackling the shocking persistent disparity in smoking rates means designing campaigns that engage LBQ women, and I’m interested to think about whether this is possible within mainstream government campaigns or if it requires community-owned/driven work.

Bio: Julie Mooney-Somers is a social researcher at Sydney Health Ethics, School of Public Health, University of Sydney. She has a long history of research on the health of sexual minority women, is a non-executive director of ACON, and since 2009, has been the joint coordinator of SWASH, the longest running survey of lesbian, bisexual and queer women's health. Smoking data from the SWASH study lead to a funded project (Cancer Institute NSW) to address LBQ women’s smoking. 

Sydney Health Ethics “Conversation" 2018: COMING UP...
  • Thursday, 24 May: Wendy Lipworth 
  • Thursday, 31 May: Kate Smith
  • Thursday, 7 June: Angus Dawson
  • Thursday, 14 June: Lisa Parker 
  • Thursday, 21 June: Cynthia Forlini
  • Thursday, 28 June: Miriam Wiersma
For more information about "Conversation" and other Sydney Health Ethics events, please visit our website.