209460 Differences in peer norms about cigarette smoking among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and unsure college students

Monday, November 9, 2009

John R. Blosnich, BA, MPH , Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Kimberly Horn, EdD, MSW , Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University/Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Morgantown, WV
The health impacts of cigarette smoking are measured both in the tens of billions of dollars of lost productivity and health care costs and the nearly half million deaths each year attributed to smoking. Literature is concordant in establishing that smoking rates among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (i.e., sexual minority) persons are higher than the general population. Less well understood are the factors associated with sexual minority status that confer increased risk of smoking, such as peer norms about smoking. Data from the 2005-2006 National College Health Assessment were used to examine peer norms about smoking (never smoked, smoked one or more days in the last 30 days, and smoked daily in the last 30 days) among a sample of lesbian/gay (n=2,101), bisexual (n=2,591), transgender (n=99) and unsure (n=1,553) college students. Results indicated that significantly fewer gay/lesbian respondents reported thinking that their peers smoked daily when compared with heterosexual, bisexual, transgender, and unsure respondents; yet more gays/lesbians than heterosexuals thought their peers smoked one or more days in the last 30 days (χ2= 17.41, p<.01). Logistic regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, race, depression, and binge drinking showed that bisexual respondents were less likely to report their peers never smoked (OR=0.76, 99%CI=0.64-0.91), and more likely to report thinking peers smoked one or more times in the past 30 days (OR=1.15, 99%CI=1.03-1.28). Future research with sexual minorities should take into account how differing peer norms may affect both smoking uptake and efforts for prevention and intervention.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the stressors that may contribute to smoking among sexual minority persons Discuss similarities and differences between gay/lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and unsure college studentsí perceptions of peer norms about smoking

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student working with the Translational Tobacco Reduction Research Program at West Virginia University.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.