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Minority stress processes contribute to smoking health disparities among LGBTQIA

Minority stress processes represent a contributing factor to smoking health disparities in LGBTQIA populations. This highlights the need for smoking cessation and prevention programs to address minority stress and improve smoking disparities in these populations.

Photo by Gage Walker from Unsplash.com

Minority stress processes contribute to smoking health disparities in LGBTQIA populations.

This is according to a study – “The Effect of Minority Stress Processes on Smoking for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Individuals: A Systematic Review” by Mirandy Li, Kelly Chau, Kaitlyn Calabresi, Yuzhi Wang, Jack Wang, Jackson Fritz, and Tung Sung Tseng – that appeared in LGBT Health.

As it is, LGBTQIA individuals are already more likely to smoke than non-LGBTQIA individuals. “Smoking has been posited as a coping mechanism for LGBTQ individuals facing minority stress,” noted the researchers.

However, the exact relationship between minority stress and smoking behaviors among LGBTQIA individuals is unclear. Therefore, this review eyed to examine how minority stress processes are associated with smoking behaviors for LGBTQIA individuals.

For this research, searches of the PubMed and PsycINFO databases were conducted for smoking-, LGBTQIA-, and minority stress-related terms. No date, geographic, or language limits were used.

The final review included 44 articles. Aside from two outlier studies, all of the reviewed studies exhibited that increased levels of minority stress processes (internalized queerphobia, perceived stigma, and prejudice events) were associated with increased probability of cigarette use in LGBTQIA individuals. Increased minority stress was also associated with greater psychological distress/mental health decline.

“The findings… suggest that minority stress processes represent a contributing factor to smoking health disparities in LGBTQIA populations,” stated the researchers. “These results highlight the need for smoking cessation and prevention programs to address minority stress and improve smoking disparities in these populations.”

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