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Can J Public Health. 2012 Mar-Apr;103(2):132-6.

Prevalence of smoking among the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender and queer (LGBTTQ) subpopulations in Toronto--the Toronto Rainbow Tobacco Survey (TRTS).

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  • 1Sherbourne Health Centre, Toronto, ON.



Research in the United States has found a higher likelihood of smoking among lesbian, gay and bisexual people compared to the general population. However, the smoking prevalence of these subpopulations in Canada is not well documented. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of smoking among the LGBTTQ subpopulations in Toronto, Ontario.


A self-report questionnaire was administered from April to July 2006 to a convenience sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender and queer (LGBTTQ) community members in Toronto, Ontario. Items measured included: past and current smoking behaviour, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and residential area.


In total, 3,140 LGBTTQ community members completed the Toronto Rainbow Tobacco Survey (TRTS). Overall, 36% of LGBTTQ participants reported current smoking, 25% were former smokers and 39% had never smoked. The smoking prevalence rates ranged from 24% to 45% across the different sexual orientation and gender identity groups of the sample, with bisexual women and bisexual men reporting the highest smoking rate at 45%. The study also reports the first known smoking prevalence rate for gender queer people at 44%. Younger LGBTTQ participants reported even higher smoking rates.


This study corroborates prior research done in other jurisdictions by finding similar and higher smoking rates among Toronto's LGBTTQ subpopulations compared to the "mainstream" population. The relatively higher rates among LGBTTQ youth, bisexual and gender queer people have implications for targeted awareness and cessation initiatives. Need for future research is discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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