A sequential exploratory examination of successful smoking cessation among LGBTQ individuals
Barnett, Jessie Anne
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Given the rate of smoking in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) population is two times higher than in the general population, smoking cessation has become a major public health issue. The purpose of this study is to explore smoking cessation among LGBTQ individuals, including their smoking history, factors contributing to smoking uptake, methods used during quit attempts, and how the most successful quitters, called Confident Maintainers, manage to stay quit. While the individual, social, and environmental risk factors for smoking in LGBTQ individuals are well documented and existing research supports the notion that LGBTQ identity is a risk factor for adopting smoking, there is a lack of information about how LGBTQ identity and social context are involved in quitting smoking. Data from LGBTQ participants in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the current study confirms LGBTQ-specific risk factors for smoking uptake. Surprisingly, findings also indicate LGBTQ identity is not heavily tied to quitting, nor does it seem to influence the quitting process. In the end, the challenges present when quitting smoking seem to be unique to quitting smoking — not to LGBTQ identity. This finding, along with important results about successful quitting methods, has major implications for further research and practice that are discussed herein.