A study released by Charleston’s Covenant House shows gay people in West Virginia smoke much more often than the general population. The state has about 40,000 gays and lesbians and the study found that about half of West Virginia’s gay men smoke, and 47 percent of gay people in the state smoke. The study pointed to tobacco industry marketing, stress, and the traditionally social element to smoking as causes.
Covenant House offers targeted programs to combat this health problem.
“We really tried hard to focus on the psychological reasons why people smoke and connect with people on that level and it works,” said Jeff Crist, health outreach manager at Covenant House. “It’s a wonderful program.”
The next class starts Jan. 4 and takes place at 6 p.m. every Tuesday.