Brian Davis, Project Director Freedom From Tobacco
New video and infographic resources were unveiled by California’s anti-tobacco partners for the LGBT community to address the disproportionate impact of tobacco within the community. In California, the LGB community has one of the highest smoking rates of any group; lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals are twice as likely to smoke as the straight population, based on data collected as part of the California Adult Tobacco Survey (CATS) from 2005 to 2010 through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
CATS does not currently identify Transgender status. Future versions of the survey will hopefully rectify this problem, so that we will have more complete data on all of our communities in subsequent reports. Although this limitation is by no means confined to California data, we do know from multiple sources that the LGBTQ population nationally smokes anywhere from 50% to 200% more than the general population.
Issues of highest concern:
- The smoking prevalence of the California LGB population is twice as high as heterosexual adults (27.4 percent vs. 12.9 percent)
- Lesbians smoke almost 3 times as much as straight women and gay men smoke almost two times as much as straight men.
- LGB Californians are nearly twice as likely as straight Californians to let someone smoke in their homes even if they don’t smoke.
The goal of these materials is to inform and drive conversations to help the LGBT community come together to fight tobacco. The groundbreaking new video, which premiered to appreciative audiences at the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival last June, sends the all-important message that our community members can help each other break free from tobacco. Hopefully the video will help change the perception of tobacco addiction from primarily being viewed as an individual problem to instead being regarded as a serious concern for the entire community to address.
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