LGBT Cigarette Use Remains HighSmoking Out a Deadly Threat

by Boyce Hinman

A new report from the American Lung Association says that smoking in the LGBT community is much higher than among the general population.

According to the report, Smoking Out a Deadly Threat, gay men are two and a half times as likely to smoke as straight men. Lesbians are twice as likely to smoke as other women and Bisexuals have the highest rate of smoking in the LGBT community.


The report indicates that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender has no direct relation to being a smoker. It suggests that the higher rate of smoking among LGBT people probably results from the greater stresses from discrimination, harassment, etc. faced by them and that some LGBT media (unlike most straight media) still have cigarette ads.

LGBTI people are also more likely to experience more aggressive advertising of cigarettes, including direct marketing of cigarettes in LGBTI bars and clubs.

The report goes on to say; “Since the smoking rate within the LGBT community is roughly double that of the general population, more members of the LGBT community are at greatly increased risk of tobacco-related health threats such as cancer, heart attacks and strokes.”

Bill Blatt, lead author of the study, says he hopes that advocates for the LGBT community will consider its high smoking rate as a public health priority.

You may download or read the report at Smoking Out a Deadly Threat.

Boyce Hinman is the founder of the California Communities United Institute. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or

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