Examining smoking and vaping behaviors, expectancies, and cessation outcomes between bisexual and heterosexual individuals

Behav Med. 2022 May 25;1-10. doi: 10.1080/08964289.2022.2077295. Online ahead of print.


Prior research indicates bisexual individuals have higher smoking and vaping rates and heightened vulnerability to negative health outcomes. Thus, we compared adult bisexual (n = 294) and heterosexual (n = 2412) participants enrolled in a smoking cessation trial on baseline smoking and vaping use behaviors, motivations, and expectancies/beliefs as well as follow-up smoking and vaping status. This is a secondary analysis of a large randomized controlled trial testing a smoking cessation intervention for dual users of combustible and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in the United States. Self-reported 7-day point prevalence smoking and vaping abstinence were collected at 3-, 12-, and 24-month assessments. Bisexual and heterosexual participants did not differ in sociodemographic variables or baseline smoking and vaping history and behavior. We found significant differences among bisexual and heterosexual individuals in smoking and vaping beliefs/expectancies. Specifically, bisexual participants expressed overall greater positive expectancies regarding smoking and vaping, such as smoking and vaping to reduce negative affect and stress. There were no differences in smoking at any follow-up assessment. Only at 3 months were bisexual individuals more likely to be abstinent from vaping and less likely to be dual users than heterosexual individuals. Despite similar smoking and vaping status over time, bisexual individuals reported greater positive expectancies regarding smoking and vaping. Our findings revealed few targets for tailoring cessation interventions to bisexual individuals; thus, it is possible that there may be greater utility in targeting the disparities in prevalence (i.e., via prevention efforts).

Keywords: bisexual; electronic cigarettes; sexual minority; smoking; vaping.