Know the Facts
If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, you likely have seen tobacco ads in magazines, newspapers, and websites directed at you.† Tobacco companies are focusing their advertising on your communities.
Several factors connect commercial tobacco with higher levels of disease, disability, and death in different population groups. Learn more about health disparities related to commercial tobacco use that affect LGBTQ+ people.
Smoking among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States is much higher than among heterosexual/straight adults.
- About 1 in 6 (15.3%) of lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults smoke cigarettes, compared with about 1 in 9 (11.4%) of heterosexual/straight adults.1
- Cigarette smoking is also higher among transgender adults (35.5%), than among adults whose gender identity corresponds with their birth sex (cisgender).2
Smoking increases your risk for lung cancer, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and other smoking-related diseases.
Learn what percent of people currently smokes cigarettes, both in the United States overall and among specific population groups.
Meet Angie P. Dessert fruitcake tart gummies bonbon icing lemon drops. Apple pie halvah marzipan sweet roll topping. Jujubes jujubes chocolate bar tart shortbread marshmallow. Caramels soufflé chocolate bar cookie tiramisu.
Meet Brian I. Brian, age 45, lives in California and has HIV. At age 14, he started smoking. At age 43, smoking, combined with HIV, caused him to have a stroke. He quit that day and hopes to regain full use of his right hand.
Meet Ellie N. Ellie, age 57, lives in Florida and never smoked. At age 35, she started having asthma attacks triggered from breathing secondhand smoke at work. The severe attacks forced her to leave a job she loved.
Ellie N. never smoked herself, but she worked in a bar that had many LGBTQ+ customers and she noticed plenty of smokers. She had severe asthma attacks—triggered by her exposure to secondhand smoke on the job.
“I had trouble breathing. It was terrifying!”
- quitSTART appexternal icon—tips, information, and challenges to help you quit
- 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (Español)
- 1-800-838-8917 (中文)
- 1-800-556-5564 (한국어)
- 1-800-778-8440 (Tiếng Việt)
- Quit Smoking (En Español)
- Smokefree.govexternal icon (En Español)
- Asian Smokers’ Quitlineexternal icon
Learn the real stories of LGBTQ+ people who are suffering from smoking-related diseases and disabilities.
† The term “LGBTQ+” is used on this page to refer to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer with the plus sign indicating inclusion of people who are questioning, intersex, asexual, or who hold other gender/sex/romantic identities not specifically identified. Many studies cited on this page only looked at certain groups within the greater LGBTQ+ community. When single terms like “gay” or “lesbian,” or acronyms like “LGB” are used on this page, this corresponds with how terms are used in the cited studies. More studies are needed to understand the ways that commercial tobacco and exposure affects other groups in the LGBTQ+ community.
1. Tobacco Product Use Among Adults – United States, 2021. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2023.
2. Transgender Use of Cigarettes, Cigars, and E-Cigarettes in a National Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, [e-pub 2017 Jan 13].