by Emilia Dunham
Network Program Associate
On June 28th, I was privileged to participate in a webinar on the American Lung Association’s LGBT Smoking Report. Since data is dramatically lacking on LGBT smoking, this national survey was extremely important, so we can expect this research will have lasing implications! Below are some major points from the webinar:
- Gay men 2-2.5x as straight men, women up to 2x
- Bisexuals higher than both gay men and women
- Lesbian and bisexual girls 9x higher than heterosexual girls
- Still limited data on transgender individuals
Why is this important?
- Most National and state surveys don’t ask for LGBT demographics
- LGBT are more prone to smoke for a variety of reasons:
- Stress related to homophobia/stigma
- Lacking legal protections
- Social pressure/bonding means smoking is normal in LGBT community
- LGBT smoking ignored by the greater LGBT community
- Targeting by tobacco industry
- General tobacco cessation programs are not tailored to LGBT population
- LGBT people are a perfect sample of the American population, stretching across all ethnicities, socio-economic statuses, ages, etc.
Taking Action: What’s needed and what can you do to help?
- Improve data collection and reporting on tobacco use in the LGBT community
- Direct LGBT funding to tobacco cessation
- Disseminate results of this and similar surveys to media organizations, anti-tobacco and LGBT groups
- Collaborate with other groups experiencing tobacco disparity rates; explore racial/ethnic disparity intersection
- Need for cultural competency