A new study from Baylor College of Medicine found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals are significantly more likely to use e-cigarettes than their straight counterparts.
Based on responses to the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a national telephone survey, the researchers found that 38 percent of LGB respondents reported using e-cigarettes versus 19.8 percent of heterosexual adults,.
This discrepancy is not only prevalent among e-cigarette usage; their data also shower that LGB adults were more likely to smoke cigarettes, both cigarettes and e-cigarettes, and marijuana. LGB adults were also more likely to take part in high-risk behaviors like experimentation with illegal drugs and exchange of money or drugs for sex.
“This is important because our results show that lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults have risk markers and behaviors that may make them prone to chronic illnesses,” said Dr. Salim Virani, professor of cardiology at Baylor and the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. “When it comes to intervention to reduce e-cigarette use, special efforts will need to be instituted in this segment given high prevalence of e-cigarette use among them.”
These results come after a study published in the European Heart Journal found that e-cigarettes can cause detrimental effects on blood flow, increase a person’s heart rate, and inhibit the inner lining of the arteries from working properly.
The researchers behind this study are calling for a further psychological study looking into why e-cigarette usage is higher among these populations, according to PinkNews.