Data · Resources · Tobacco Policy



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                        
September 20, 2012    

Contact:     Chris Viveiros
617.927.6342 / 617.721.7494                                                                                      


Report Marks Historic First Release of National Surveillance Data on LGBT Tobacco Use

A CDC (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) analysis of data from 2009-2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey published in the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) showed that with the exception of pipes, tobacco use was significantly higher among LGBT respondents when compared to the general population.   The survey found that 32.8% of LGBT people nationally smoke cigarettes; 12.2% smoke cigars/cigarillos/small cigars; 6.1% and 38.5% report using any tobacco.  Among heterosexual/straight respondents, those rates fell to 19.5% for cigarettes; 6.6% for cigars/cigarillos/small cigars; and 25.2% for any tobacco use.

An abstract of the APJH report is available here, where American Public Health Association (APHA) members can download a PDF of the full report.  Members of the press who would like a copy of the report should contact the APHA at or 202.777.2509.

“These data provide the first national benchmark of adult LGBT tobacco use and we applaud the Office of Smoking and Health at CDC for their leadership in LGBT integration and data collection,” comments Dr. Scout, The Director of The Network for LGBT Health Equity.  “Unfortunately, these findings  confirm the bad news that LGBT people smoke cigarettes at rates 68% higher than the general population and that our overall tobacco use is 50% higher.” said Scout, PhD, Director of The Network for LGBT Health.

“It’s clearer than ever that tobacco use is one of the largest single health burdens on the LGBT community,” Scout continued. “On a daily level, this means smoking and secondhand smoke is taking our health and too often, our lives. I look forward to the day when every tobacco control program includes LGBT tailored work and every tobacco industry marketing program doesn’t.”

“The American Lung Association is happy to see that this report contains specific information on LGBT tobacco use. As we stated in our 2010 report on LGBT tobacco use, Smoking Out a Deadly Threat – Tobacco Use in the LGBT Community, it’s important that this type of data be collected among the LGBT community so we can target programs and funding appropriately to reduce the burden of tobacco use among this community and all disproportionately affected communities,” said Bill Blatt, the Director of Tobacco Control Programs at The American Lung Association.

“The LGBT communities have been advocating for health data collection for so long.” reports Terry Stone, the Executive Director of Centerlink, the national association of LGBT community centers, “It’s great to finally see some results from that work. Even if the news is bad, it’s better than being invisible.”

The 2009 – 2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey is a national landline and cell phone survey of adults aged 18 years and older, to estimate current use of any tobacco; cigarettes; cigars, cigarillos, or small cigars; chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip; water pipes; snus; and pipes. We stratified estimates by gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, income, sexual orientation, and US state.

The Network for LGBT Health Equity at The Fenway Institute is a community-driven network of advocates and professionals looking to enhance LGBT health by eliminating tobacco use, and other health disparities within our communities. We are one of six CDC-funded tobacco disparity networks.

For more than forty years, Fenway Health has been working to make life healthier for the people in our neighborhood, the LGBT community, people living with HIV/AIDS and the broader population.  The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health is an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on national and international health issues. Fenway’s Sidney Borum Jr. Health Center cares for youth and young adults ages 12 to 29 who may not feel comfortable going anywhere else, including those who are LGBT or just figuring things out; homeless or living on the streets; struggling with substance use or abuse; sex workers; or living with HIV/AIDS.



Joint Commission Releases Historic Field Guide on LGBT Health Care!

Daniella Matthews-Trigg
Program Associate
Exciting News, Joint Commission Releases New Guide to LGBT Health!

Drum roll, please…

Today the Joint Commission released a historic guide to LGBT health disparities: Advancing Effective  Communication, Cultural Competence, and Patient-and Family-Centered Care for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community: A Field Guide.

The Joint Commission, the organization responsible for accrediting Health centers and Hospitals, has a history of going above and beyond for LGBT rights. If you may remember, last July the Joint Commission started to require that all hospitals have LGBT non discriminations policies in order to maintain their accreditation.  This new guide is their most recent commitment to the health and well-being of our community.

The Field Guide is designed to help hospitals and health centers provide better, more culturally competent care for LGBT patients and their families. It focuses on identifying areas that need improvement, as well as provides resources and information to “strengthen outreach efforts to the LGBT community”. Additionally, the field guide can be used as an educational tool for training staff, and for “compliance efforts related to laws, regulations and standards”.

The Network is so excited to have been involved in the creation of this important resource, and we want to thank all of you for your suggestions and responses to our action alert related to the guide.

United we spoke, and our voices were heard… Let’s all keep up the good work!

For an expanded read, check out the press-release by clicking here.