This study examined whether cigarette use is associated with sexual orientation among high school students.
Data were from a 2012 cross-sectional survey of 5994 students in grades 9, 10 and 12 attending public schools in Atlantic Canada. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was used to examine differences in cigarette use by sexual orientation.
Lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents (LGB) reported higher prevalence (22%) of daily cigarette use compared with heterosexuals (11%). Multilevel logistic regression analysis, controlling for standard covariates, found that LGB adolescents were more likely to be daily smokers than non-LGB adolescents (odds ratio 2.00, 95% confidence interval 1.50-2.68). Bisexual adolescents were at least twice more likely to be a smoker compared with heterosexual adolescents.
Prevalence of cigarette use was significantly higher among LGB adolescent students. Our results join a growing body of evidence indicating that sexual minorities are at heightened risk of tobacco use. Smoking cessation measures that specifically target this group may be beneficial given that there is no one size fits all approach.