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Gay, lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to use e-cigarettes, study finds

Patrick Kelleher November 17, 2019
Gay lesbian and bisexual people are more likely to use e-cigarettes

Dan Kitwood/Getty

Researchers have found that gay, lesbian and bisexual people are significantly more likely to use e-cigarettes in the United States than straight people.

A team from Baylor College of Medicine found that 38 percent of gay, lesbian and bisexual adults use e-cigarettes compared to just 19.8 percent of heterosexuals.

They also found that gay, lesbian and bisexual people are also more likely to smoke cigarettes and marijuana, and some use all three.

The researchers are set to give a presentation on their findings at this year’s American Heart Association Scientific Sessions and say that the prevalence of vaping and smoking in this cohort has not been well studied.

Researchers call for psychological study to understand high rates of e-cigarette use among LGB people.

They got their results by using data from the 2016 and 2017 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a nationally representative US telephone survey. They also found that LGB people are more likely to engage in high risk behaviour such as drug use.

Researchers behind the findings are now calling for further psychological study to better understand why e-cigarette use and smoking are higher among this cohort.

This is important because our results show that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults have risk markers and behaviours that may make them prone to chronic illnesses.

“This is a segment of the community we really need to focus our interventions on especially when it comes to the messaging about the harms associated with e-cigarettes,” Sr Salim Virani, professor of cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine said.

“This is important because our results show that lesbian, gay and bisexual adults have risk markers and behaviours that may make them prone to chronic illnesses,” Virani continued.

A recent study found that e-cigarettes can damage the lungs and brain.

“When it comes to intervention to reduce e-cigarette use including public health messaging related to harmful effects associated with e-cigarette use, special efforts will need to be instituted in this segment given high prevalence of e-cigarette use among them.”

The findings come just days after a study was published in European Heart Journal which found that e-cigarettes have a detrimental effect on blood flow and cause stiffness in the brachial artery in the upper arm.

It also found that vaping increases a person’s heart rate and the inner lining of arteries stopped working correctly.

The study tested e-cigarette vapour on 151 mice for 20 minutes six times a day and they were found to suffer from damage to the lungs and brain.

The findings have led some cardiologists to call on governments to ban e-cigarettes.

More: bisexual, e-cigarettes, Gay, lesbian, LGBT, smoking, tobacco

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