Stress, Socializing, and Other Motivations for Smoking Among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Community in New York City

Deanna P. Jannat-Khah, Le Conté J. Dill, Simone A. Reynolds, Michael A. Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: This study contributes to the emerging literature on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer (LGBTQ) health disparities and tobacco use by examining the motivations for smoking among the New York City (NYC) LGBTQ population. Approach: We used grounded theory and blended methods from 3 grounded theorists—Strauss, Corbin, and Charmaz—for data collection, coding, and analysis. Setting: NYC has extensive legislation to prevent smoking; however, the current smoking prevalence of homosexuals is double that of heterosexuals. Participants: Study participants were leaders from 23 NYC LGBTQ organizations. Leaders were chosen to establish a relationship with community and to ensure cultural sensitivity. Eligibility criteria required holding a leadership position in an organization serving the NYC LGBTQ community. Methods: Interviews were transcribed verbatim and uploaded into Dedoose for analysis. An initial code list was developed from the interview guide. Key themes were identified as the themes with the most number of quotes. Results: Three key themes emerged from our interviews: image, socializing, and stress. Smoking was reported to be a socialization aid and a maladaptive coping technique for stress arising from interactions of conflicting identities. Conclusion: Future smoking cessation interventions among the LGBTQ community should equip smokers with healthy coping mechanisms that address the stressors that arise from the intersections of smokers’ many identities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1178-1186
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018



  • smoking
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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