Cigarette, smokeless tobacco, and alcohol use among transgender adults in the United States

Sunday Azagba, Keely Latham, Lingpeng Shan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Research suggests that sexual minority adults face disparate risks for poor health outcomes. However, prior research on transgender populations has been limited by small and nonprobability samples and has potentially masked important differences between transgender subgroups. We examined disparities in cigarette, smokeless tobacco, and alcohol consumption by transgender and cisgender adults. Methods: 2014–2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data were used. Multivariable logistic regressions examined differences in cigarette, smokeless tobacco, and alcohol use between cisgender adults and transgender sub-identities: male to female (MTF), female to male (FTM), and gender nonconforming. Results: Cigarette and smokeless tobacco use were higher among transgender adults. The gender nonconforming subgroup reported more binge and heavy drinking. In a multivariable logistic analysis, higher odds of smokeless tobacco use were found for all transgender sub-identities compared to cisgender females. The gender nonconforming group had higher odds of heavy drinking (AOR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.14–3.82) and binge drinking (AOR = 1.94, 95% CI 1.25–3.02) compared to cisgender females. The MTF subcategory was more likely to binge drink (AOR = 1.88, 95% CI 1.44–2.46) compared to cisgender females. The FTM subcategory had lower odds of binge drinking (AOR = 0.49, 95% CI 0.33-0.73) compared to cisgender males. Conclusions: Significant heterogeneity in smokeless tobacco and alcohol use were found among transgender subgroups, particularly when compared to cisgender females. Our findings demonstrate that it is important to consider sub-identities in both the transgender population and in the reference cisgender population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
StatePublished - Nov 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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