Lesbian and bisexual teenage girls are the most likely to smoke, according to a new study.
The study found an overall higher percentage of lesbian, bisexual and gay adolescents smoke compared to heterosexual teens.
Lesbians and bisexual girls are more than twice as likely to smoke as straight girls of the same age.
However, gay teens have roughly the same odds of tobacco use as heterosexual boys.
Overall, 41% of lesbians and gay teens smoke (including e-cigarettes) compared to 30% of heterosexual teens.
39% of bisexual teens also smoke, as well as 32% of people who were unsure about their sexuality.
Lead study author Dr Hongying Dai from the University of Missouri said: ‘Gender does matter in tobacco use among sexual minority youth.’
Dai believes this study offers a unique insight into gender and sexuality differences in tobacco use.
The results highlight the need for tobacco control policies that specifically target youth who aren’t heterosexual, say researchers.
The study concludes: ‘These findings underscore the need to develop evidence-based tobacco control policies for sexual minority youth that consider the heterogeneity within the sexual minority population.’
This Free Life
A campaign launched last year hopes to target LGBTI youth to prevent rates of smoking.
Run by This Free Life, the Be Known For Your Flawless campaign features popular drag queens outlining the risks of smoking.
Manilla Luzon, Trixie Mattel, Shangela and Tammie tell teens: ‘Every cigarette is doing you damage.
‘I live free from tobacco,’ Luzon says in the video.
Director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Mitch Zeller said: ‘We want LGBT young adults to know that there is no safe amount of smoking.
‘Even an occasional cigarette can have serious health implications and lead to addiction,’ he added.
Watch the campaign video below: