That Homelessness And HIV Status Are Associated With Smoking Among Sexual And Gender Minorities Youth?
A recently published study examined rates and correlates of tobacco use among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and transgender women. A total of 771 participants were drawn from thebaseline assessment of an ongoing longitudinal cohort study of racially diverse MSM aged 16-29 years. Data collection took place in 2015-2016.

Findings included:

  • 21% of respondents were current cigarette smokers.
  • Nearly 40% ever tried an e-cigarette, but regular e-cigarette use was low (3.8%).
  • Smokers were more likely to be older (vs. aged 16-18), less educated, homeless, bisexual oridentify as some other sexual minority (vs. gay), attracted to males and females equally or more attracted to females than males (vs. males only), and HIV-positive.
  • E-cigarette users were more likely to be transgender women (vs. cisgender men), White (vs. Black), more educated, and mostly attracted to females.

The authors concluded that the study highlights important risk factors for tobacco use among sexual and gender minorities (SGM) youth. Correlates of smoking mirrored findings observed in the general population, but also included factors specific to SGM youth (e.g., sexual orientation, HIV status, homelessness). Although some variables (gender identity, attraction) demonstrated similar relationships with smoking and e-cigarette use, others (race/ethnicity, education) demonstrated opposite patterns. The researchers suggest that there is urgent need for tobacco prevention and cessation interventions for SGM youth.

Source: Gerend et al. (2017). Prevalence and correlates of smoking and e-cigarette use among young men who have sex with men and transgender women. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Sep;53(3S1):S95-S102.

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