|Blogs: an untapped resource for educating about smoking-related health risks in LGBT people|
|September 18, 2013|
A new study by a Gillings School of Global Public Health doctoral student examined lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) blogs and found they spent little or no cyberspace addressing one of the community's biggest health problems - smoking.
Joseph Lee, MPH, health behavior student at the Gillings School, is author of the paper, published online Sept. 17 in the journal LGBT Health.
Smoking prevalence is 50 percent higher among gays and lesbians than among straight people, resulting in disproportionate death and disability for the LGBT community.
Lee analyzed 16 blogs and 105 tobacco-related online posts between 2003 and 2013. Coverage of the tobacco epidemic, he found, mostly occurred in four blogs and focused on epidemiology and tobacco-related policy. Despite the online presence of 33 organizations working on LGBT tobacco prevention and control, little information was available about the tobacco industry, addiction or health effects. Thirty-eight percent of the blogs did not mention tobacco at all.
"LGBT news blogs have a potentially important and mostly untapped role in tobacco-related media advocacy," Lee concluded. "LGBT health advocates would do well to cultivate relationships with LGBT bloggers and include bloggers in dissemination and media strategy efforts."
|Last updated September 19, 2013|