The purpose of this study was to characterize stress levels in the sexual and gender minority (SGM) population using Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale. Data were collected at Missouri pride festivals and online during the summer and fall of 2012 with over 3700 SGM participants. Consistent to other study results, SGM population reported smoking rates that were almost twice (40%) that of the Missouri population (22%). The SGM participants had a statistically significantly higher average stress score than the general population. The average stress scores in the SGM population showed almost no variability when evaluating stress by age group, by race, by ethnicity, by gender, by smoking status, or for SGM smokers by intention to quit status. These results suggest smoking may be utilized less as a coping strategy for stress and more as a part of cultural behavior.
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