Bizarre study investigates whether gay people live near tobacco shops

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A study has attempted to find whether same-sex couples live closer to tobacco shops than straight people.

The National Institutes of Health in the US helped to fund the study at the University of North Carolina, entitled ‘Relationship Between Tobacco Retailer Density and Sexual Minority Couples’.

The study states: “Tobacco use is substantially higher among sexual minorities than among heterosexuals.

The reasons for this persistent disparity remain unclear, but the high toll of death and disability from tobacco use creates substantial health inequalities in cancer.

“Same-sex couples’ movement within the US results in same-sex couples concentrating in more urban neighborhoods where there may be more tobacco retailers. Living near a tobacco retailer has been associated with decreased success in quitting tobacco.

“The presence or absence of overlapping patterns of same-sex couples and tobacco retailers have not been explored.

“This study uses a unique and high quality list of 92,384 tobacco retailers from 97 U.S. counties with 18,034 census tracts and data from the U.S. Census to examine the relationship between same-sex couple density and tobacco retailer density in census tracts.”

Right-wing outlets have been quick to condemn the alleged $33,000 in funding for the seemingly-inane study, despite higher prevalence of smoking in the gay community.