A literature review of thirteen peer-reviewed studies measuring tobacco use in the LGBT community found LGBT people smoke at much higher rates than the general population, from 38-59% higher among LGBT youth and 11-50% higher among LGBT adults.
To address this disparity, the Louisiana Public Health Institute, through its Tobacco-Free Living (TFL) program, offered community-targeted grants. Forum For Equality and the Louisiana Wellness Center Project, a program of the Office of Public Health HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, received grants targeting the LGBT population in Region 2 (Baton Rouge) and Region 8 (Monroe). With funding from these two grants, Forum organized several smoke-free advocacy events at bars in Baton Rouge and Monroe, offered smoking cessation assistance, and conducted a study in Baton Rouge and Monroe to examine tobacco use in the LGBT community and the attitudes of LGBT people toward tobacco. The study was conducted to learn more about the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of LGBT people concerning tobacco use; to understand the gap between perceived norms and actual norms in LGBT tobacco use; and to use this information to understand how to engage the LGBT community in smoking cessation.