HPRC News

Monday, June 13, 2022

Research Study to Empower LGBTQ2S+ Oklahomans to Quit Smoking

TSET Health Promotion Research Center at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center and Freedom Oklahoma, a statewide LGBTQ2S+ serving organization, are partnering on a new treatment study for tobacco cessation. Julia McQuoid, PhD, a researcher at HPRC is enrolling Oklahomans who identify as LGBTQ2S+ and want to quit smoking cigarettes in the Empowerment Project study.

The study offers participants free state-of-the-art tobacco cessation assistance through the HPRC Tobacco Treatment Research Program and opportunities to participate in activities that support LGBTQ2S+ Oklahomans through Freedom Oklahoma. Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable cancer. People in LGBTQ2S+ communities are more likely to use tobacco than non-LGBTQ2S+ identified people, partly due to discrimination and many years of targeted tobacco industry marketing.

The Empowerment Project is LGBTQ2S+ led and is guided by the idea that when people work together to do things to support the wellbeing and solidarity of their communities, they can also strengthen their own personal skills and motivation to make positive health changes for themselves, including quitting smoking. While empowerment approaches have not been used to support tobacco cessation for LGBTQ2S+ people before, they have been used for other health interventions in our communities, including HIV prevention.

Studies have shown that for LGBTQ2S+ individuals, participation in positive social change and community building has empowering outcomes. Increasing our adaptive coping strategies and self-efficacy in this way may help reduce tobacco use and support successful smoking cessation outcomes for LGBTQ2S+ people who smoke.

Participants who volunteer in the pilot study will receive standard tobacco cessation assistance including six weekly counseling sessions and 12 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy, such as nicotine patches or gum. While receiving tobacco cessation assistance, participants will be invited to engage in activities that support LGBTQ2S+ Oklahomans and complete follow-up surveys and an exit interview to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the empowerment approach. Those who enroll in the study will be compensated up to $200 for their time. Participation can be in person or remote (phone/video).

Interested individuals may take a short survey to see if they qualify. The survey can be found at https://redcap.link/EmpowerOUHSC. Potential participants may also call 405-934-6811 or email empower@ouhsc.edu to learn more.

The TSET HPRC and its researchers are committed to addressing the health and social consequences that affect Oklahomans, ensuring all residents achieve positive health and social outcomes.

The HPRC receives funding from the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center via an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA225520) and the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust contract number R22-02. The University of Oklahoma is an Equal Opportunity Institution. IRB#11937. The University does not endorse the use of tobacco products.