TReND: LGBT of Color Sampling Methodology

Visit TReND’s web portal to learn more about research, programs, policies, and resources relevant to tobacco and health disparities.

Return to TReND Projects

About the Project

Rationale: Studies have found disturbing evidence of high tobacco use prevalence rates in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities. However, traditional data collection methods prevent us from learning more about tobacco use among LGBT and LGBT of Color who represent small populations in the United States. Taking into consideration the known tobacco disparities among racial and ethnic minorities and multiple recommendations from various reports, it is important to learn more about effective strategies for documenting tobacco use rates among high risk populations.

Purpose: In 2006, the American Legacy Foundation, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Tobacco Research Network on Disparities (TReND), and California’s Tobacco Related Disease Research Program convened a meeting on LGBT of Color Sampling Methodology on September 15, 2006. The aims of the meeting were to:

  • Identify obstacles/barriers in achieving adequate sampling of LGBT of Color in research.
  • Summarize effective methodologies to adequately sample LGBT of Color.
  • Generate recommendations for carrying out robust research on LGBT of Color.
  • Produce content for the meeting report as well as other tools to disseminate findings from the meeting.

The 21 researchers at that meeting represented some of the most experienced people in LGBT of Color research, LGBT sampling, and tobacco-related health disparities.

Impact: The meeting report, Strategies for Collecting Data in Small, Hidden, or Hard-to-Reach Groups to Reduce Tobacco-Related Health Disparities, summarizes the meeting format and content, provides a brief overview of the problem of tobacco use among LGBT and racial and ethnic minorities, and makes recommendations to help eliminate tobacco-related health disparities. This meeting report distills the joint discussions and lessons learned from some of the most advanced researchers in this challenging field. This knowledge and the recommendations of the meeting participants provide invaluable resources to assist policymakers, funders, and researchers. Through this work, the larger body of knowledge on racial/ethnic health disparities, LGBT health, and rare population research will be commensurately enriched.

Research Team

Francisco O. Buchting, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator and Meeting Chair)
ETR Associates

Scout, Ph.D. (Science Writer)
National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

Pebbles Fagan, Ph.D., M.P.H.
National Cancer Institute

Contact Us

Principal Investigator and Meeting Chair
Francisco O. Buchting, Ph.D.
Director of Strategic Development and Knowledge Transfer
ETR Associates

Project Activities and Findings

LGBT of Color Sampling Methodology Meeting (September 15, 2006, American Legacy Foundation in Washington, DC): Meeting Agenda.

LGBT of Color Sampling Methodology Meeting Report (March 2009): Strategies for Collecting Data in Small, Hidden, or Hard-to-Reach Groups to Reduce Tobacco-Related Health Disparities.

Other Resources and Publications

Related TReND Projects
Migrant Farm Workers Sampling Methodology

Web Resources

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Healthy People 2010

National LGBT Tobacco Control Network

Select Scientific Publications and Articles

(NOTE: A more comprehensive list of references can be found in the LGBT of Color Sampling Methodology Meeting Report.)

Austin SB, Ziyadeh N, Fisher LB, Kahn JA, Colditz GA, Frazier AL (2004). Sexual orientation and tobacco use in a cohort study of U.S. adolescent girls and boys. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med;158(4):317-322.

Burgard SA, Cochran SD, Mays VM (2005). Alcohol and tobacco use patterns among heterosexually and homosexually experienced California women. Drug Alcohol Depend; 77(1):61-70.

Bye L, Gruskin E, Greenwood G, Albright V, Krotski K (2004). The 2003 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Tobacco Survey: Field Research Incorporated.

Case P, Austin SB, Hunter DJ, et al (2004). Sexual orientation, health risk factors, and physical functioning in the Nurses' Health Study II. J Womens Health (Larchmt); 13(9):1033-1047.

Cochran SD, Mays VM, Bowen D, et al (2001). Cancer-related risk indicators and preventive screening behaviors among lesbians and bisexual women. Am J Public Health; 91(4):591-597.

Diamant AL, Wold C (2003). Sexual orientation and variation in physical and mental health status among women. J Womens Health (Larchmt); 12(1):41-49.

Diamant AL, Wold C, Spritzer K, Gelberg L (2000). Health behaviors, health status, and access to and use of health care: a population-based study of lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women. Arch Fam Med; 9(10):1043-1051.

Easton A, Sell R (October 2004). Analysis of National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Paper presented at: Gay and Lesbian Medical Association; Palm Springs, CA.

Garofalo R, Wolf RC, Kessel S, Palfrey SJ, DuRant RH (1998). The association between health risk behaviors and sexual orientation among a school-based sample of adolescents. Pediatrics;101(5):895-902.

Gates G, Holning L, Sears RB (2006). Race and Ethnicity of Same-Sex Couples in California. The Williams Project on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA.

Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, LGBT health experts (April 2001). Healthy People 2010 Companion Document for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Health.

Greenwood GL, Paul JP, Pollack LM, et al (2001). Tobacco use and cessation among a household-based sample of U.S. urban men who have sex with men. Am J Public Health; 95(1):145-151.

Gruskin EP, Hart S, Gordon N, Ackerson L (2001). Patterns of cigarette smoking and alcohol use among lesbians and bisexual women enrolled in a large health maintenance organization. Am J Public Health; 91(6):976-979.

Hughes TL, Jacobson KM (2003). Sexual orientation and women's smoking. Curr Womens Health Rep; 3(3):254-261.

Magnani R, Sabin K, Saidel T, Heckathorn D (2005). Review of sampling hard-to-reach and hidden populations for HIV surveillance. AIDS; 19 (suppl 2):S67–S72.

McCabe SE, Boyd C, Hughes TL, d'Arcy H (2003). Sexual identity and substance use among undergraduate students. Subst Abus; 24(2):77-91.

McCabe SE, Hughes TL, Boyd CJ (2004). Substance use and misuse: are bisexual women at greater risk? J Psychoactive Drugs; 36(2):217-225.

National LGBT Communities Tobacco Action Plan: Research, Prevention, and Cessation (PDF) (November 2004).

Offen N (2005). Is tobacco a queer issue? Perceptions of LGBT community leaders. Paper presented at: National Conference on Tobacco or Health; Chicago, IL.

Offen N, Smith EA, Malone RE (2003). From adversary to target market: the ACT-UP boycott of Philip Morris. Tob Control; 12(2):203-207.

Ramirez-Valles, J., Heckathorn, D. D., Vázquez, R., Diaz, R. M., Campbell, R. T. (2005). From Networks to Populations: The Development and Application of Respondent-Driven Sampling Among IDUs and Latino Gay Men. AIDS and Behavior, 9 (4): 387-402.

Ramirez-Valles, J., Heckathorn, D. D., Vázquez, R., Diaz, R. M., Campbell, R. T. (2005). The fit between theory and data in respondent-driven sampling: Response to Heimer. AIDS and Behavior, 9(4): 409-414.

Reuben SH (2007). President’s Cancer Panel 2006-2007 Annual Report: Promoting Healthy Lifestyles. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute.

Ryan H, Wortley PM, Easton A, Pederson L, Greenwood G (2001). Smoking among lesbians, gays and bisexuals: a review of the literature. Am J Prev Med; 21(2): 142-148.

Sell RL, Bradford J (unpublished paper, 2000). Elimination of health disparities based upon sexual orientation: Inclusion of sexual orientation as a demographic variable in Healthy People 2010 objectives.

Sell RL, Becker JB (2001). Sexual orientation data collection and progress toward Healthy People 2010. Am J Public Health;91(6):876-882.

Smith EA, Malone RE (2003). The outing of Phillip Morris: advertising tobacco to gay men. Am J Public Health; 93(6): 988-992.

Smith EA, Offen N, Malone RE (2005). What makes an ad a cigarette ad? Commercial tobacco imagery in the lesbian, gay, and bisexual press. J Epidemiol Community Health; 59(12):1086-1091.

Solarz AL, Institute of Medicine (U.S.) (1999). Committee on Lesbian Health Research Priorities. Lesbian health : current assessment and directions for the future. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.

Stall RD, Greenwood GL, Acree M, Paul J, Coates TJ (1999). Cigarette smoking among gay and bisexual men. Am J Public Health; 89(12):1875-1878.

Stall R, Paul JP, Greenwood G, et al (2001). Alcohol use, drug use and alcohol-related problems among men who have sex with men: the Urban Men's Health Study. Addiction; 96(11):1589-1601.

Stevens P, Carlson LM, Hinman JM (2004). An analysis of tobacco industry marketing to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations: strategies for mainstream tobacco control and prevention. Health Promot Pract; 5(3 Suppl):129S-134S.

Swanson GM, Lin CS, Burns PB (1997). Diversity in the association between occupation and lung cancer among black and white men.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 2(4):313-320.

Tang H, Greenwood G, Cowling DW, Lloyd JC, Roeseler AG, Bal DG (2004). Cigarette smoking among lesbians, gays, and bisexuals: how serious a problem? Cancer Causes Control; 15:797-803.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (1998). Tobacco Use Among U.S. Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups—African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics: A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, Atlanta, Georgia.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (May 2005). Eliminating Tobacco-Related Health Disparities: Summary Report.

Valanis BG, Bowen DJ, Bassford T, Whitlock E, Charney P, Carter RA (2000). Sexual orientation and health: comparisons in the women's health initiative sample. Arch Fam Med; 9(9):843-853.

Yerger VB, Daniel MR, Malone RE (2005). Taking it to the streets: responses of African American young adults to internal tobacco industry documents. Nicotine Tob Res. Feb 2005;7(1):163-172.

Zea MC, Reisen CA, Diaz RM (2003). Methodological issue in research on sexual behavior with Latino gay and bisexual men. Am J Comm Psych; (31)3/4.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and American Legacy Foundation are proud to fund the Tobacco Research Network on Disparities (TReND). Previous support has also been provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Office on Women’s Health, NCI Office of Women’s Health, and the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.