Objectives: We conducted a large, population-based study to assess tobacco use in California's lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) population.
Methods: Standard measures of tobacco use from 2 separate, statewide household-based studies were used to compare basic prevalence rates in the LGB population and the general population in California. Data were derived from a 2003-2004 survey of LGB individuals living in California as well as from the 2002 version of the California Tobacco Survey, which gathered data on the state's general population.
Results: Smoking prevalence rates were higher in our sample of lesbians, bisexual women, and women who have sex with women than among women in the general California population. In the case of men, the only significant difference was that rates were higher among gay men than among men in the general population. Disparities in tobacco use between the LGB population and the general population were still evident after we controlled for key demographic variables and in comparisons with other tobacco use indicators such as average cigarette consumption.
Conclusions: Tobacco control efforts targeting the LGB population are needed to reduce this group's high rate of cigarette smoking.