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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Tobacco Use Among Adults by Sexual Orientation: Findings from the Population Assessment of Tobacco a

Thursday, February 8, 2018  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Wheldon CW, Kaufman AR, Kasza KA, Moser RP.
Tobacco Use Among Adults by Sexual Orientation: Findings from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study.
LGBT Health. 2018 Jan;5(1):33-44. doi: 10.1089/lgbt.2017.0175.
 
The aim of this study was to characterize lifetime tobacco use across two measures of sexual orientation and six types of tobacco products. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (Wave 1, 2013-2014, USA) to estimate the prevalence of tobacco use (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, and smokeless) stratified by gender (men/women), age (< 25/≥ 25 years old), and sexual orientation. Sexual orientation was operationalized as sexual identity and sexual attraction. Younger lesbian/gay and bisexual women had higher relative odds of experimental use of all six tobacco products compared to heterosexual women, whereas lesbian/gay and bisexual women in both age groups had higher odds of regular use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah than heterosexual women. Younger gay men (but not older gay men) had higher relative odds of experimental and regular use of cigarettes compared to heterosexual men. Older gay men had higher odds of experimental e-cigarette and hookah use, but lower odds of regular cigar and experimental/regular smokeless tobacco use. Measures of sexual orientation identity and sexual attraction resulted in similar estimates of tobacco use with noted differences in those who identified as "something else," as well as among those who indicated asexual attraction. Our findings reflect a complex relationship between sexual orientation and tobacco use. Gender-based and product-specific approaches to tobacco prevention and control efforts are needed to address the high use of tobacco among sexual minority women.


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