Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Considerations for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer, and Intersex Persons

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ+) people are an important population for tobacco control efforts given this population's high prevalence of tobacco use. Many factors may contribute to tobacco use among LGBTQI+ people including stigma, discrimination, and social norms. Additionally, commercial tobacco companies have conducted strategic advertising campaigns focused on LGBTQI+ people, particularly gay men, since the 1990s.

A 2014 systematic review of clinical, community, and policy-focused tobacco cessation interventions for LGBTQI+ people found that many interventions have limited reach. The review also found few effective community, policy, and media interventions for tobacco cessation for LGBTQI+ people. The cessation research is most limited for transgender populations. The study found that further research is needed to explore if community interventions can improve tobacco cessation outcomes for this population. There is also a need for research that explores the impacts of policy interventions on tobacco cessation and identifies optimal strategies for messaging in media campaigns for LGBTQI+ people.

There are promising practices available to guide the development of tobacco cessation interventions for LGBTQI+ people. The American Lung Association emphasizes the need for multiple strategies such as targeted interventions that focus on prevention and cessation, the expansion and improvement of data collection and reporting on tobacco use in the LGBTQI+ population, and the need for tobacco control programs in LGBTQI+ organizations.