Smoking; Gay and Bisexual Men; Health Disparities


Psychology | Public Health



Introduction: Readiness to quit smoking - a pattern of attitudes, intentions, and behaviors that reflect a likelihood of engaging in cessation activities—is a useful heuristic for understanding smoking disparities based on sexual orientation. This study examined demographic, tobacco-use patterns, psychosocial and cognitive factors associated with readiness to quit among gay and bisexual male smokers.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted as part of a larger Tobacco Elimination and Control Collaboration (Q-TECC) initiative in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Readiness to quit was measured by a composite score created from four variables (motivation to quit, importance of quitting, plan to quit, and confidence in quitting) (alpha=.87, M=3.42, SD=.96, range 1-5).

Results: The sexual minority smokers in the sample (N=208; M=33 years) were racially/ethnically diverse. Latino men had significantly lower levels of readiness to quit compared to African American and White men. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were performed to explore the relative contributions of sociodemographic, tobacco-use patterns, psychosocial and cognitive factors on Readiness to Quit. In the final model, the following variables were associated with readiness to quit scores: Latino ethnicity, fewer quit attempts, positive expectancies for the beneficial effects of smoking, and lower perceived importance of smoking as an important LGBT health issue. None of the psychosocial factors were associated with readiness to quit.

Discussion: Readiness to quit scores were largely predicted by modifiable attitudes, behaviors, and expectancies. Study findings have implications for improving outreach and awareness and for the development of effective treatment approaches.