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More Queer People Are Vaping Amid Increasing Safety Concerns


Over 40 people have died recently from lung injuries linked to vaping and e-cigarettes.

A new study from researchers from Baylor College of Medicine shows that nearly four in 10 lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults have reported using e-cigarettes.

The findings come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release updated numbers of vaping-related illnesses around the country.

Baylor cardiology professor Dr. Salim Virani and fellow in training Dr. Mahmoud Al Rifa based their findings on the CDC's 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, which was sent to nearly one million people across the United States, according to the Baylor College of Medicine press office.

When analyzing the responses, the researchers found that 38 percent of lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults said they'd vaped, as opposed to about 20 percent of straight adults. Cigarette smoking and marijuana use were also higher among lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults.

"This is a segment of the community we really need to focus our interventions on, especially when it comes to the messaging about the harms associated with e-cigarettes," Virani and Al Rifai said in a statement.

"When it comes to intervention to reduce e-cigarette use including public health messaging related to harmful effects associated with e-cigarette use, special efforts will need to be instituted in this segment given high prevalence of e-cigarette use among them," Virani said.

The study will be presented this weekend at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, the press release said.

The study does not include data on how many transgender people vape, or whether the subjects were vaping tobacco or THC.

This is not the first time researchers have noted the higher rates of vaping among LGBTQ people. Research released last year based on the 2016 version of the CDC's survey also showed that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people are more likely to use e-cigarettes -- as are adults younger than 35, people with chronic illnesses, and unemployed people.

More concerns have arisen in recent months about the health effects of e-cigarettes. On Thursday, the CDC reported that 2,172 people have reported lung injuries linked to e-cigarettes or vaping. Forty-two people have died. The Trump administration has made noise about cracking down on the sale of vaping products, but has not yet taken any action.

The CDC also notes that at least 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking.

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