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Why do gays and lesbians smoke more?

Matt Galang

Adrian Florido/KPCC

Matt Galang, 20, says he started smoking to cope with stress over coming out as gay.

LGBT Anti-Smoking Campaign

Adrian Florido/KPCC

One of the anti-smoking posters Los Angeles County public health officials have placed in gay bars in West Hollywood

Gays, lesbians and bisexuals smoke at a rate more than double that of the heterosexual population in California, according to the state Department of Public Health. In L.A. County, the disparity is not as large, but gay and bisexual adults still smoke at a rate more than 50 percent higher than their straight counterparts, according to the Los Angeles County Health Survey. 

Troubled by those rates, L.A. County recently launched a campaign to drive down smoking rates in the gay and lesbian communities, with a particular focus on gay bars in West Hollywood and Long Beach.

KPCC's Adrian Florido reports.

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