Introduction: We conducted a longitudinal evaluation of factors associated with persistent smoking behaviors among sexual minority women (SMW). Methods: Structured interview data were collected as part of a larger longitudinal study of SMW's health, the Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women study. We conducted multivariate analyses to evaluate the influence of 4 groups of predictors variables on smoking: (a) demographic, (b) childhood victimization, (c) other substance use, and (d) health variables. Results: At Wave 1, 30.9% (n = 138) of participants reported current smoking, with substance-use and demographic factors having the strongest relationships to smoking status. The majority (84.9%) of Wave 1 smokers were also smoking at Wave 2. Among demographic variables, level of education was inversely associated with continued smoking. With respect to substance use, hazardous drinking and cocaine/heroin use were significantly associated with continued smoking. None of the victimization or health variables predicted smoking status. Conclusions: Consistent with previous studies, smoking rates in this sample of SMW were elevated. Despite intensive efforts to reduce smoking in the general population, 84% of SMW smokers continued smoking from Wave 1 to Wave 2. Findings suggest that the majority of SMW will continue to smoke over time. Additional research is needed to increase motivation and access to smoking cessation resources.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health