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Reduce smoking, vaping with inclusive campaigns, and skills to cope with minority stress, resisting peer pressure – study

A study is highlighting the need to broaden antitobacco campaigns for them to be more relevant to adolescent sexual minority males and gender-diverse youth.

Photo by Egor Myznik from Unsplash.com

Exclusion in antitobacco campaigns?

A study is highlighting the need to broaden antitobacco campaigns for them to be more relevant to adolescent sexual minority males and gender-diverse (ASMM/GD) youth.

The study – “Perspectives on Cigarette Use, Vaping, and Antitobacco Campaigns Among Adolescent Sexual Minority Males and Gender Diverse Youth” by Junye Ma, Ashley J. Kraus, Christopher Owens, David A. Moskowitz, Jeremy Birnholtz, and Kathryn Macapagal – appeared in LGBT Health.

In this study, the researchers asked 215 US ASMM/GD youth (mean age 16.78, 95.3% cisgender male, 60.0% racial/ethnic minority) to answer questions about smoking/vaping behaviors, motivations for smoking/vaping, and attitudes toward antitobacco campaigns.

The study found:

  • 17.2% of participants had smoked cigarettes, and 34.9% had vaped
  • teens described psychological (e.g. stress relief), chemical (e.g. nicotine buzz), and social incentives (e.g. fitting in with peers) for smoking/vaping
  • teens also reported concerns about physical health, costs, and self-image as drawbacks of smoking/vaping

Unfortunately, most considered antitobacco campaigns unrelatable and uninteresting, while others reported that campaigns reinforced their decisions to not smoke/vape. On this, most participants wanted antitobacco campaigns to be tailored to the sexual and gender minority (SGM) community.

According to the researchers, the “results suggest that equipping teens with skills to cope with minority stress and resisting peer pressure could indirectly reduce smoking/vaping, and that SGM-inclusive campaigns may better reach SGM adolescents.”

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