Respiratory Therapists and the LGBT Community

The connection between respiratory therapy and the phenomenon of smoking in America is fairly obvious. Cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and emphysema in America.

The connection between respiratory therapy and the LGBT community might seem odd at first, but studies have shown that smoking is considerably more prevalent within that community. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 50% more homosexual men smoked than heterosexual men. In women the disparity is even higher; the same report notes that 70% more women in the lesbian community smoke. So what does this mean for respiratory therapists?

Respiratory therapists should begin advertising to gay communities in their area and working to make sure they are aware of the dangers of smoking, as well as the work respiratory therapists can do to alleviate the health problems that can arise from it. Early detection is everything when it comes to diseases like lung cancer, and respiratory therapists should be on the front lines in the LGBT communities addressing this issue.

There are other things at play, like the negative self-image that is often so prevalent in LGBT communities due to outside forces. When under so much stress, it is no wonder why so many in the LGBT community turn to smoking. But, with respiratory therapists showing particular attention to a group of people considerably more likely to need their expertise, perhaps that trend can be turned around.


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