December 13, 2013

Why E-Cigs Matter To The LGBT Community

Goproud
Goproud
Maybe it sounds a little close-minded, but this writer never really thought of electronic cigarettes as a concern for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.  It just never really struck as something more important to that community than to the general public.  But it turns out it does matter — primarily because alternative lifestyle individuals are far more likely to be smokers.

Minor Disclaimer: This writer is not well-versed in politically correct terminology for the LGBT community.  Please forgive any transgressions.

An article from conservative gay rights group GOProud and published on conservative political website The Daily Caller shines light on the issue.  It seems American Lung Association research places gay men around two and a half times more likely to be smokers than straight men, lesbians twice as likely to smoke as straight women, and bisexuals more likely to smoke than almost any other sexual identity category.

You can read the article right here.

This puts a surprising twist on the political discussions surrounding electronic cigarettes.  As research is rapidly showing that open access to electronic cigarettes makes smokers less likely to smoke and non-smokers less likely to start (currently unconfirmed, but looking very likely), it seems the health impact of electronic cigarettes will be far greater on the LGBT community.

This has the potential to create a lot of political allies with a community that in recent years has been winning a lot more than it’s been losing.  In fact, smoking has often been the bane of undeserved groups — more adversely affecting poor, minority, and, it turns out, alternative lifestyle individuals.

The article focuses in on the problems presented by New York City Council plans and efforts to harshly slap down the growing industry.  But it seems likely to impact the national political landscape as well.  The article itself only really touches on the relevance to the LGBT community briefly and moves on to the actual issue at hand — the possible damage anti-e-cig legislation can have on public health.

We certainly welcome all the allies we can get.

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