BY ZACK FORD
A new study from the Network for LGBT Health Equity shows that in a given year LGBT Americans spend 65 times more on cigarettes — an estimated $7.9 billion — than is spent on all LGBT advocacy combined. Nearly a third of all people who identify as LGBT smoke, rates 68 percent higher than the national average (19.5 percent). The Network believes this data proves that “smoking is the LGBT community’s biggest health concern.”
Numerous other studies have similarly found that not only are LGBT people more likely to smoke, but also less likely to quit. Three main factors contribute to these high rates of substance abuse: minority stress, a health care system that doesn’t recognize the unique needs of LGBT people, and targeted marketing by tobacco companies in LGBT publications. In particular, tobacco companies have engaged in predatory marketing particularly when it comes to menthol-flavored cigarettes, the only kind of flavored cigarettes that the Food and Drug Administration did not ban in 2009.
Read more at ThinkProgress.org