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Everyday smoking contexts and practices of bisexual young adults

Institution: University of California, San Francisco
Investigator(s): Julia McQuoid,
Award Cycle: 2019 (Cycle 29) Grant #: T29FT0436 Award: $135,392
Subject Area: Tobacco-Use Prevention and Cessation
Award Type: Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards

Initial Award Abstract
Tobacco use is increasingly concentrated within marginalized groups, like sexual minorities. Among sexual minorities, bisexuals are at extremely high risk. Bisexuality is the fastest growing sexual identity in the U.S., yet in-depth understanding of how and why high bisexual smoking rates persist is lacking. This is needed to develop tailored interventions that can reduce high smoking rates within these groups. Many studies have investigated individuals characteristics (e.g., mental health) and smoking behavior. Now, interest is growing in understanding the influence of people's everyday contexts (e.g., neighborhood tobacco retail), social contexts (e.g., acceptability of smoking), and social practices (e.g., routine smoke breaks) on tobacco use behavior. New research methods are needed to uncover the links between individual and contextual risk factors to tobacco use. We will examine the unique mechanisms driving smoking among bisexual young adults by comparing their everyday smoking contexts and practices with those of their homosexual and heterosexual peers. We will analyze existing pilot data and new data collected with young adult smokers in the San Francisco Bay Area (n=57; ages 18-26). Participants will complete surveys of (non)smoking situations for 30 days on a smartphone app that will track their location. Surveys will capture internal (e.g., craving intensity) and external (e.g., seeing smoking) factors linked to smoking episodes. We will guide interviews on smoking location experiences and practices with maps of participants data. We will first analyze data for each sexual identity group. We will use transcripts to identify smoking location types, experiences of smoking contexts and sexual identity, and the roles of smoking. We will use survey data to identify smoking predictors such as location type, time of day, and smoking triggers (e.g., lighters). We will assess participant exposure to tobacco retail outlets with mapping software. We will integrate findings in a table to compare smoking factors for each sexual identity group. We will describe participant reactions to participating in the study via transcript analysis. Findings will advance understanding of the mechanisms driving tobacco use disparities among sexual minorities, guide tailored intervention development, and inform future studies employing this method.