Differences in Tobacco Product Use by Sexual Orientation and Violence Factors Among United States Youth

J Pediatr. 2021 Jun;233:241-248. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.02.011. Epub 2021 Feb 9.


Objective: To assess differences in the relationship between violence factor exposure and tobacco product pattern use (exclusive and poly), we hypothesized that compared with heterosexuals, sexual minority youth would be more likely to report exclusive-tobacco and poly-tobacco use patterns, and controlling for violence factors would attenuate these associations.

Study design: Data from 27 513 US high-school youth were analyzed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Factor Surveillance System from 2015 and 2017. We fit sex-stratified, weighted, adjusted log-Poisson models to compare past 30-day exclusive combustible, exclusive e-cigarette, and poly-tobacco use in across sexual orientation. Then, models were adjusted for past-year experiences of physical fighting, bullying, attempting suicide, and physical and sexual dating violence.

Results: Compared with heterosexual girls with other-sex partners, sexual minority girls were more likely to use exclusive combustible, exclusive e-cigarette, or poly-tobacco products. When adjusting for violence factors, most tobacco use associations were partially attenuated for all sexual minority girls, and completely attenuated for exclusive e-cigarette use among all sexual minority girls.

Conclusions: Sexual minority girls have greater exclusive- and poly-tobacco use compared with heterosexual girls. Tobacco interventions for sexual minority youth should address the risks of poly-tobacco use as well as violence-based risk factors.

Keywords: electronic nicotine delivery systems; exposure to violence; sexual and gender minorities; tobacco use.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students*
  • Tobacco Products / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*