LGBT twice as likely to smoke as straight people

Sat. July 3, 2010 2:15 PM by News Staff

New York City - Members of the LGBT community are on average twice as likely to smoke as straight people.

A summary of 40 research projects by the American Lung Association found that gay men were two and a half times as likely to smoke as straight men.

Lesbians are twice as likely to smoke, compared to straight women.

The researchers suspect it's because tobacco advertising is still fairly common in LGBT publications, even though it's basically vanished from straight media.

Another issue may be the stress that gays and lesbians feel, especially when they are going through puberty and realizing they are different from other kids.

"When [young people] they feel pressure or stigma because they're gay, they've been thrown out of their house, they're afraid of being bullied, they pick up smoking for a mental break," American Lung Association Director of Tobacco Programs Bill Blatt told CNN. "Obviously it's a terrible way to take a mental break but it's something that people do."