Sexual minority specific and related traumatic experiences are associated with increased risk for smoking among gay and bisexual men

Conall O'Cleirigh, Sannisha K. Dale, Steven Elsesser, David W. Pantalone, Kenneth H. Mayer, Judith B. Bradford, Steven A. Safren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: This study examined the hypothesis that sexual minority specific stress and trauma histories may explain some of the risk for smoking among gay/bisexual men. Methods: Patients at a Boston community health center were invited to complete a 25-item questionnaire assessing demographics, general health, trauma history, and substance use. Of the 3103 who responded, 1309 identified as male and gay or bisexual (82.8% White and mean age of 38.55 [sd = 9.76]). Results: A multinomial logistic regression with never smoked as referent group and covariates of age, education, employment, HIV status, and race, showed that the number of sexual minority stressors/traumas were significantly related to the odds of both current and former smoking. In comparison to participants with no trauma history, those who reported 1, 2, 3, and 4 traumas had respectively 1.70 (OR = 1.70: 95% CI: 1.24-2.34), 2.19 (OR = 2.19: 95% CI: 1.48-3.23), 2.88 (OR = 2.88: 95% CI: 1.71-4.85), and 6.94 (OR = 6.94: 95% CI: 2.62-18.38) the odds of identifying as a current smoker. Adjusted logistic regression analysis revealed a significant dose effect of number of sexual minority stressors/traumas with odds of ever smoking. Experiencing intimate partner violence, anti-gay verbal attack, anti-gay physical attack, and childhood sexual abuse were each independently associated with increased odds of the smoking outcomes. Conclusion: A sexual minority specific trauma history may represent a vulnerability for smoking among gay/bisexual men. Interventions that address trauma may enhance the efficacy of smoking cessation programs and improve the mental health of gay/bisexual men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-477
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Volume78
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • Gay
  • Men
  • Sexual minority
  • Smoking
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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