Prevalence of use and perceptions of risk of novel and other alternative tobacco products among sexual minority adults: Results from an online national survey, 2014-2015.Prev Med. 2017 Nov; 104:71-78.PM
Sexual minority (lesbian, gay, and bisexual [LGB]) populations experience disparities in cigarette use, but sparse evidence exists about novel and other alternative tobacco product use. In this study, we compared rates of novel and other alternative tobacco product use, risk perceptions, and worldview between LGB and heterosexual (HET) adults. An online survey administered in 2014-2015, using a weighted probability sample of 11,525 U.S. adults, assessed awareness of tobacco products; ever and current use of e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars and cigarillos, and hookahs; perceptions of e-cigarettes; and worldview (individualism vs. communitarianism). Bivariate and adjusted multivariable analyses were performed to determine differences between LGB and HET groups. In the adjusted analyses, LGB adults were 1.5 times more likely to have ever used e-cigarettes (95% CI 1.2-1.9) and 1.9 times more likely to have ever used hookahs (95% CI 1.5-2.4) as compared to HET adults. A lower percentage of LGB adults, as compared to HET adults (16.7% vs. 19.2%), believed that exposure to vapors from e-cigarettes was "harmful" and reported that they "did not know" of any harm (35.1% vs. 39.8%). LGB were 20% less likely than were HET adults to endorse an individualistic worldview. These results suggest that a disparity exists, whereby LGB adults are more likely to have used e-cigarettes and hookahs. In addition, although vapor from e-cigarettes contains nicotine and other chemicals, LGB adults are less likely to perceive exposure to secondhand vapor as harmful. Tailored awareness campaigns and interventions are needed to convey the risks and curb use of these products.