A qualitative study of tobacco interventions for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults: Overarching themes and key learnings

N. Bruce Baskerville, Katy Wong, Alanna Shuh, Aneta Abramowicz, Darly Dash, Aamer Esmail, Ryan Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Smoking prevalence is very high among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer (LGBTQ+) youth and young adults (YYA) compared to non-LGBTQ+ YYA. A knowledge gap exists on culturally appropriate and effective prevention and cessation efforts for members of this diverse community, as limited interventions have been developed with and for this population, and there are very few studies determining the impact of these interventions. This study identifies the most salient elements of LGBTQ+ cessation and prevention interventions from the perspective of LGBTQ+ YYA. Methods: Three descriptions of interventions tailored for LGBTQ+ YYA (group cessation counselling, social marketing, and a mobile phone app with social media incorporated), were shared with LGBTQ+ YYA via 24 focus groups with 204 participants in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. Open-ended questions focused on their feelings, likes and dislikes, and concerns about the culturally modified intervention descriptions. Framework analysis was used to identify overarching themes across all three intervention descriptions. Results: The data revealed eight overarching themes across all three intervention descriptions. Smoking cessation and prevention interventions should have the following key attributes: 1) be LGBTQ+ - specific; 2) be accessible in terms of location, time, availability, and cost; 3) be inclusive, relatable, and highlight diversity; 4) incorporate LGBTQ+ peer support and counselling services; 5) integrate other activities beyond smoking; 6) be positive, motivational, uplifting, and empowering; 7) provide concrete coping mechanisms; and 8) integrate rewards and incentives. Conclusions: LGBTQ+ YYA focus group participants expressed a desire for an intervention that can incorporate these key elements. The mobile phone app and social media campaign were noted as potential interventions that could include all the essential elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 18 2018


  • Focus groups
  • Interventions
  • LGBTQ+
  • Prevention
  • Youth, young adults, cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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