Lesbians and bisexual teens more likely to smoke than straight peers, study finds
A study has found that lesbian and bisexual teens are much more likely to smoke than straight adolescents.
The study found that 41 percent of lesbian or gay teens use tobacco products, and 39 percent of bisexual young people.
32 percent of youths unsure about their sexual orientation said they smoked, compared to 30 percent of straight teenagers.
Lesbians were most likely to smoke out of respondents, with more than twice as many saying they used tobacco products compared to straight girls.
Gay teenagers were on average a similar likeliness of smoking than straight boys.
The study’s lead author Dr Jongying Dai of the Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri says: “Gender does matter in tobacco use among sexual minority youth.”
Dr Dai says that the study sheds new light on why LGB teens could be more likely to smoke than straight counterparts.
14,703 adolescents in high schools in 2015 took part in the survey. It used a nationally representative survey data with 6 percent of respondents were bisexual, 23 percent said they identified as gay or lesbian and 3 percent said they were unsure about their sexual orientation.
It looked at the use of cigars, snuff and chewing tobacco as well as cigarettes and e-cigs.
The study’s limitations included not collecting data on transgender teens, and those not attending high school.
But the authors say the study shows a need for smoking-reduction policies aimed specifically at those not straight.