Prevalence and correlates of smoking and e-cigarette use among young men who have sex with men and transgender women

Mary A. Gerend*, Michael E. Newcomb, Brian Mustanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background Although the prevalence of cigarette smoking in the United States has decreased, rates remain elevated among sexual and gender minorities (SGMs). This study examined rates and correlates of tobacco use among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and transgender women. Methods Participants (N = 771) were drawn from the baseline assessment of an ongoing longitudinal cohort study of racially diverse MSM aged 16–29 years. Data collection took place in 2015–2016. Socio-demographic and SGM-specific (e.g., gender identity, sexual identity, physical attraction) correlates of cigarette smoking and electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use were identified using logistic regression. Results Twenty-one percent were current cigarette smokers. Nearly 40% ever tried an e-cigarette, but regular e-cigarette use was low (3.8%). Smokers were more likely to be older (vs. aged 16–18), less educated, homeless, bisexual or identify as some other sexual minority (vs. gay), attracted to males and females equally or more attracted to females than males (vs. males only), and HIV-positive. E-cigarette users were more likely to be transgender women (vs. cisgender men), White (vs. Black), more educated, and mostly attracted to females. Conclusions Findings highlight important risk factors for tobacco use among SGM youth. Correlates of smoking mirrored findings observed in the general population, but also included factors specific to SGM youth (e.g., sexual orientation, HIV status, homelessness). Although some variables (gender identity, attraction) demonstrated similar relationships with smoking and e-cigarette use, others (race/ethnicity, education) demonstrated opposite patterns. Findings underscore the urgent need for tobacco prevention and cessation interventions for SGM youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-399
Number of pages5
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Cigarette smoking
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Transgender women
  • Young men who have sex with men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology


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