Tobacco is a major issue in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community. Partly due to the tobacco industry's relentless campaign to target gay men and women through bar promotions, sponsorships, and advertisements in the queer press, LGBT adults and youth have roughly 40%-70% higher smoking rates than the general population; and bartenders and cocktail servers in LGBT oriented nightclubs are disproportionately exposed to secondhand smoke.
More and more, the LGBT community is liberating itself from tobacco and choosing to be smokefree. Recently, a group of tobacco and LGBT advocates created the National LGBT Communities Tobacco Action Plan to establish key criteria and goals to actively address and fight the disproportionate health problems associated with tobacco in LGBT youth and adult communities.
What can you do to stymie the tobacco industry and save lives?
ANR (staff members Frieda Glantz and Len Casey pictured here) partnered with CLASH (Coalition of Lavender Americans on Smoking and Health) to promote smokefree bodies and workplaces at the 2005 Creating Change Conference in Oakland, CA.
News | Research Studies
nursing professor's study of anti-tobacco campaign underscores power of
campaign targets smoking in LGBT community
LGBT group to discuss tobacco marketing strategies
The advertisements give gay people the impression that the tobacco industry whole-heartedly supports the legitimization and approval of the LGBT community....
PrideFestival Goes Smoke Free
Targets Anti-Smoking Efforts At LGBT Community: 'This Is A Justice and
super-heroes to fight Big Tobacco in Utah
tobacco opponents aim at secondhand smoke
tobacco a gay issue?
Health Awareness Week: Clearing the air
...Americans for Nonsmokers Rights agreed smoking is a big problem for the LGBT community. The organization lays blame at the tobacco industry's collective ...
of Missouri probes high smoking rate of gays, lesbians
University researchers are tapping a community health grant worth more
than $300,000 to study the high smoking rate among gays and lesbians in
smoking cessation resources to be included in CDC's health equity user's
Two weeks ago, The Network (for LGBT Tobacco Control) was asked to offer
some recommendations of LGBT resources for CDCs health equity users
guide. This was an exciting opportunity which we were glad to take on!
companies target LGBTs
The presence of LGBT themes in cigarette ads surprised a crowd of people at a workshop during the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference at the University of Michigan last month. Because LGBT people are more likely to smoke cigarettes, the industry has responded accordingly. ...
Gay & Lesbian Center bans smoking outdoors
West Hollywood, California (August 2, 2010) - The LA Gay & Lesbian
Center is helping the LGBT community breathe easier by expanding its existing
smoking ban, which already prohibited smoking in indoor areas, to include
the areas outside its McDonald/Wright building and Village at Ed Gould
Plaza facilities. ...
The American Lung Association's latest health disparity report, Smoking Out a Deadly Threat: Tobacco Use in the LGBT Community, examines the trend of higher tobacco use among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the need for additional research specific to this community.
Most state and national health surveys do not collect information on sexual orientation and gender identity; however, there are current data indicating the LGBT population smokes at a higher rate than the general public. ...
you have a light? Smoking keeps tight grip on LGBT community
The Illinois Tobacco Quitline is just busting at the seams this month, said Sherrill Keefe, director of American Lung Association of Illinois-Greater Chicago. People say, This is the year Im going to quit smoking.
But members of the LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) community are 35 to 200 percent more likely to be smokers than the general public, according to the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network based in Boston.
Karyn Haney, a lesbian who quit smoking three years ago this January, is the project coordinator for Chicago's Howard Brown Health Centers Its a Bitch to Quit smoking cessation program. The center launched its current program at the beginning of the month.
People in the program arent necessarily saying 'Im smoking because Im gay.' But there are stressors that push the LGBT numbers higher, she said. Every time I check my voicemail to see who wants to sign up for the program, its full.
For some LGBT individuals, stress can stem from lack of acceptance, social isolation, low self-esteem and other psychological issues that often impact minorities can lead to coping behaviors such as smoking and even alcohol abuse, which is also more prevalent in the LGBT community. . . .
HIV: The gay communitys biggest health threat? Smoking.
When I came out of the closet, the foremost concern I heard from each family member was worry over how much harder my life would be as a gay man. After all, its still legal in the state of Montana to be fired from my job, evicted from my home and denied more than 1,000 rights granted to legally wedded partnerssimply because Im homosexual.
Weve come a long way since the rioting drag
queens of Stonewall made the first foray of the gay civil rights movement, or
Barbara Gittings took to the pickets demanding homosexuals be viewed as societal
equals. Civil rights struggles are never easy, and it takes fierce optimism to
face the rabid intolerance spewed by talking heads from the right.
The Montana Gay Mens Task Force on HIV and AIDS completes statewide surveys of gay and bisexual mens health, compiling data on mental, physical and sexual health, and many of the latest results are alarming. The numbers show how, in the shadow of a pandemic, smalleryet still devastatingscourges have seen none of the spotlight.
The 2006 survey, the only one of its kind in Montana, involved 250 gay and bisexual men between 18 and 65 and was administered in a variety of settings, including the Montana Pride Celebration, Task Force retreats, social events, and one-on-one outreach.
Sixty percent of gay men between the ages of 18 and 34 have experienced depression in the last year, and almost three-quarters have felt feelings of isolation. Roughly one in two men between 35 and 65 experienced depression in the last year. Among all age groups, one in 25 experienced domestic violence.
One in four gay men has tried methamphetamine; 75 percent of those were 34 or younger. This is compared to various state and federal surveys that place methamphetamine use at between three and eight percent of the general population. Meth abuse is statistically higher overall in the gay community, as it has strong ties to the party and club scenes throughout the West.
And, perhaps not so surprising in a community facing high rates of depression, isolation and drug use, mistrust of municipal health departments has risen 10 percent since 2001. Perhaps as a testament to community HIV-testing organizations like the Task Force, Missoula AIDS Council and Partnership Health Center, 90 percent of those indicating mistrust of health departments are still testing regularly.
Shocking rates of tobacco abuse among gay men have prompted discussion of a specific intervention directed at the LGBTIQ community. Nationwide, health centers have developed programs targeting the gay communitys high smoking rates. The Task Force survey showed 60 percent of 18- to 34-year-old gay or bisexual men smoked tobacco, compared to other surveys which show that Montanas general population smoking rates hover around 20 percent. We also see higher rates of tobacco use within the HIV-positive community, increasing the risk for heart disease, certain cancers and opportunistic infections by as much as five-fold.
tobacco industry is notorious for its unabashed advertising to the gay community,
an ironic market considering the number of dollars spent by industry execs on
conservative, anti-gay politicians. In the mid-90s, ad companies targeted
gay ghettos, rebellious generation X-ers and the homeless of San Francisco, using
what they called Project SCUM, or Project Subculture Urban Marketing. The gay
communitys response to Big Tobacco began on the West coast in the 90s,
and has since spread throughout the countryoften taking on an angry, frustrated
tone. Ads produced by organizations such as the American Legacy Foundation focus
their audiences on in-your-face statistics, including the fact that tobacco causes
more deaths in the LGBTIQ community than AIDS, drugs, breast cancer and bashings
Angeles County Responds to Alarming LGBT Smoking Rates with Innovative New 'Last
Responding to disproportionately high smoking rates among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals, Los Angeles County's Tobacco Control and Prevention Project announced today the launch of a pioneering campaign to promote tobacco cessation to the LGBT community. The campaign consists of smoking cessation workshops specifically developed for LGBT individuals, advertising, a Web site and the first-ever gay anti-smoking street team.
twice as likely to smoke, study says
In a recent statistical analysis by the California Department of Health Services, a startling trend was revealed. LGBT people are two times more likely to smoke than the overall population of California. The smoking prevalence in the queer community was over 30 percent, according to the CDHS results of a population-based study. The highest smoking rates were among LGBT youth ages 18 to 24 at 44 percent, which is two and a half times the overall smoking rate for this age group.
Bob Gordon with the California LGBT Educational Partnership talks about tobacco industry targeting of LGBTs.
A new study by the California Department of Health Services shows that more than 30 percent of the state's gay community smokes. The figure is double the state average of 15.4 percent.
The findings are part of the first-ever population-specific study conducted on smoking and indicates that even though smoking in general is declining, it is not doing so among gays and lesbians.
The new data also show that lesbians and bi women smoked almost triple (32.5 percent) that of general population women (11.9 percent). Gay and bi men smoked at 27.4 percent, significantly more than California men in general at 19.1 percent.
Considering that tobacco use within the LGBT community is reported to be significantly higher than the general population, the fact that tobacco kills more people than AIDS, alcohol, car accidents, murder and illegal drugs combined is causing concern in the community.
Dr. Scout is a health care consultant working with minority groups who are seeking part of the nation's huge tobacco settlement.
Members of various minority groups, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community, have filed a friend of the court brief demanding that the settlement in the Department of Justice lawsuit against the tobacco industry provide over $50 million to remedy the ill health effects caused by smoking in minority populations...
|News | Research Studies|
|Max, W.B.; Stark, B.; Sung, H.; Offen, N., "Sexual identity disparities in smoking and secondhand smoke exposure in California: 2003-2013," American Journal of Public Health 106(6): 1136-1142, June 2016.|
|Max, W.B.; Stark, B.; Sung, H.Y.; Offen, N., "Sexual identity disparities in smoking and secondhand smoke exposure in California: 2003-2013," American Journal of Public Health [Epub ahead of print], March 17, 2016.|
|Lee, J.G.; Pan, W.K.; Henriksen, L.; Goldstein, A.O.; Ribisl, K.M., "Is there a relationship between the concentration of same-sex couples and tobacco retailer density?," Nicotine and Tobacco Research [Epub ahead of print], March 5, 2015.|
|Hatzenbuehler, M.L.; Keyes, K.M.; Hamilton, A.; Hasin, D.S., "State-level tobacco environments and sexual orientation disparities in tobacco use and dependence in the USA," Tobacco Control 23(e2) e127-e132, November 2014.|
|Fallin, A.; Neilands, T.B.; Jordan, J.W.; Ling, P.M., "Secondhand smoke exposure among young adult sexual minority bar and nightclub patrons," American Journal of Public Health 104(2): e148-e153, February 2014.|
|Newcomb, M.E.; Heinz, A.J.; Birkett, M.; Mustanski, B., "A longitudinal examination of risk and protective factors for cigarette smoking among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth," Journal of Adolescent Health [Epub ahead of print], December 31, 2013.|
|Rath, J.M.; Villanti, A.C.; Rubenstein, R.; Vallone, D.M., "Tobacco use by sexual identity among young adults in the United States," Nicotine and Tobacco Research 15(11): 1822-1831, November 2013.|
|Kabir, Z.; Keogan, S.; Clarke, V.; Clancy, L., "Second-hand smoke exposure levels and tobacco consumption patterns among a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Ireland," Public Health 127(5): 467-472, May 2013.|
|Greene, D.C.; Britton, P.J., "Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender smokers: correlations with external health control, health expectations, and shame-focused coping strategies," Journal of LGBT Issues in Counseling 6(3): 202-228, 2012.|
|Leibel, K.; Lee, J.G.L.; Goldstein, A.O.; Ranney, L.M., "Barring intervention? Lesbian and gay bars as an underutilized venue for tobacco interventions," Nicotine and Tobacco Research 13(7): 507-511, July 2011.|
|McElroy, J.A.; Everett, K.D.; Zaniletti, I., "An examination of smoking behavior and opinions about smoke-free environments in a large sample of sexual and gender minority community members," Nicotine and Tobacco Research 13(6): 440-448, June 2011.|
|Blosnich, J.R.; Jarrett, T.; Horn, K., "Racial and ethnic differences in current use of cigarettes, cigars, and hookahs among lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults," Nicotine & Tobacco Research 13(6): 487-491, June 2011.|
|Burkhalter, J.E.; Warren, B.; Shuk, E.; Primavera, L.; Ostroff, J.S., "Intention to quit smoking among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender smokers," Nicotine and Tobacco Research 11(11): 1312-1320, November 2009.|
|Kelly, B.C.; Weiser, J.D.; Parsons, J.T., "Smoking and attitudes on smoke-free air laws among club-going young adults," Social Work in Public Health 24(5): 446-453, September 2009.|
|Lee, J.G.; Griffin, G.K.; Melvin, C.L., "Tobacco use among sexual minorities in the USA, 1987 to May 2007: a systematic review," Tobacco Control 18(4): 275-282, August 2009.|
|Dilley, J.A.; Spigner, C.; Boysun, M.J.; Dent, C.W.; Pizacani, B.A., "Does tobacco industry marketing excessively impact lesbian, gay and bisexual communities?," Tobacco Control 17(6): 385-390, December 2008.|
|Smith, E.A.; Thomson, K.; Offen, N.; Malone, R.E., "'If you know you exist, it's just marketing poison': meanings of tobacco industry targeting in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community," American Journal of Public Health 98(6): 996-1003, June 2008.|
|Gruskin, E.P.; Greenwood, G.L.; Matevia, M.; Pollack, L.M.; Bye, L.L., "Disparities in smoking between the lesbian, gay, and bisexual population and the general population in California," American Journal of Public Health 97(8): 1496-1502, August 2007.|
|Gruskin, E.P.; Gordon, N., "Gay/lesbian sexual orientation increases risk for cigarette smoking and heavy drinking among members of a large Northern California health plan," BMC Public Health 6: 241, October 3, 2006.|
|Smith, E.A.; Malone, R.E., "The outing of Philip Morris: advertising tobacco to gay men," American Journal of Public Health 93(6): 988-993, June 2003.|
|Offen, N.; Smith, E.A.; Malone, R.E., "From adversary to target market: the ACT-UP boycott of Philip Morris," Tobacco Control 12(2): 203-207, June 2003.|
|Washington, H., "Burning love: Big Tobacco takes aim at LGBT youths," American Journal of Public Health 92(7): 1086-1095, July 2002.|
|Skinner, W.F., "The prevalence and demographic predictors of illicit and licit drug use among lesbians and gay men," American Journal of Public Health 84(8): 1307-1310, August 1994.|