Trends in smoking prevalence over time: A comparison between LGB and heterosexual populations using multilevel growth modelling

Authors: Megan Davies*, , Nathaniel Lewis, University of Southampton, Graham Moon, University of Southampton
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Sexuality
Keywords: Smoking, multilevel modelling, sexual minorities, tobacco
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Tyler, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Previous research has highlighted that smoking in lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals is higher compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Since the smoking ban came into effect in the UK in 2007, smoking has steadily declined across the general population. However, less is known about the rate of decline in those groups most affected by smoking inequalities, including LGB individuals. In this paper, we explore whether the rate of decline has differed between LGB and heterosexual populations over time. Using combined longitudinal data waves from 1991 until 2016 from the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society, we used multilevel growth curve modelling to examine how smoking prevalence has changed over time. In particular, we highlight differences in smoking prevalence before and after the 2007 smoking ban in LGB and heterosexual individuals. This study will demonstrate how individuals over time have declined in smoking prevalence, and using local authority data in the UK will show whether these changes vary according to location, and if there are any specific place effects that might contribute to varying smoking rates. This paper aims to highlight the importance of contextual and environmental effects on smoking in the UK amongst sexual minority groups. In line with current UK tobacco control plans, we examine how smoking inequalities persist in LGB populations compared to their heterosexual counterparts, and whether legalisations such as the smoking ban are as effective in reducing smoking rates in populations where higher levels of smoking exist.

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