Reducing tobacco use remains a major publichealth imperative in the United States. Tobaccouse is the number one cause of preventabledisease and death in the United States, accountingfor 393,000 deaths a year.
A growing body of evidence indicates that lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender individuals are considerably morelikely to use tobacco than the general population,with some studies estimating smoking rates asmuch as double the national average.Although it's difficult to verify, it's estimatedthat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender(LGBT) individuals represent roughly 3 percent of the total population of the United States. Theylive in every state and county in the nation, andare part of every racial, ethnic, religious, age andsocioeconomic group.
Although social conditionsand public acceptance of the LGBT communityhave been slowly improving, it appears that theystill face high levels of health disparities in anumber of areas, tobacco use included. Reasonsfor this disparity may include the stresses of social stigma, peer pressure, aggressive targetingby the tobacco industry, and limited access toeffective tobacco treatment. Unfortunately, mostsurveys and studies of health status and behaviordo not collect information on sexual orientationand gender identity. This has created aninformation gap that makes it difficult to get acomplete picture of the impact that tobacco hason the LGBT community.
Smoking Out a Deadly Threat
Tobacco Use in theLGBT Community