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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Structural Discrimination is Associated With Smoking Status Among a National Sample of Transgender I

Monday, June 20, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Deirdre A. Shires, MPH, MSW and Kim D. Jaffee, PhD
Structural Discrimination is Associated With Smoking Status Among a National Sample of Transgender Individuals.
Nicotine Tob Res (2016) 18 (6):1502-1508.doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv221First published online: October 5, 2015
Limited evidence suggests that transgender individuals smoke at significantly higher rates than the general population. We aimed to determine whether structural or everyday discrimination experiences predict smoking behavior among transgender individuals when sociodemographic, health, and gender-specific factors were controlled. Data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (N = 4781), a cross-sectional online and paper survey distributed to organizations serving the transgender community, were analyzed in order to determine the association between current smoking and discrimination experiences and other potential predictors. Logistic regression models were used to establish factors that predict smoking.
Participants reported experiencing both structural (80.4%) and everyday (65.9%) discrimination. Multivariate analyses showed that participants who reported attending some college, graduating college, or having a graduate degree were less likely to smoke compared to those with a high school degree or less. Uninsured participants were more likely to report smoking compared to those with private insurance. Those who used alcohol or drugs for coping were also more likely to smoke. Participants whose IDs and records listed their preferred gender were less likely to smoke (OR = 0.84); those who had experienced structural discrimination were more like to report smoking (OR = 1.65). Further research is needed in order to explore the relationship between smoking and legal transition among transgender individuals. Strategies to prevent smoking and encourage cessation among this vulnerable population are also needed. In addition, comprehensive collection of gender identity data in the context of national surveys, tobacco-related research, and clinical settings is sorely needed. This study establishes a link between experiences of structural discrimination among transgender individuals and smoking status.

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