Tobacco use in the sexual borderlands: The smoking contexts and practices of bisexual young adults.


Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, 530 Parnassus Ave, Suite 366, San Francisco, CA 94143, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


Little is known about why bisexual people use tobacco at higher rates than any other sexual identity group. Non-binary sexualities, such as bisexuality, exist within the socially constructed borderland between homosexuality and heterosexuality. Exploration of the everyday smoking contexts and practices of bisexual individuals may reveal unique mechanisms driving tobacco use. We employed a novel mixed method, integrating real-time, smartphone-administered surveys of (non)smoking situations, location tracking, spatial visualization of participant data, and subsequent map-led interviews. Participants (n = 17; ages 18-26, California) identified as bisexual, pansexual, and/or queer. Most were cisgender women. Survey smoking patterns and situational predictors were similar to other young adults'. However, interviews revealed unique roles of tobacco use in participants' navigation of differently sexualized spaces in everyday life: 1) stepping away from uncomfortable situations related to bisexual identity; 2) facilitating belonging to LGBTQ+ community; and 3) recovering from bisexual identity perception management. Similar studies can examine the place-embedded practices and spatio-temporal patterns of other substance use and other stigmatized identity experiences.


Ecological momentary assessment,Mixed methods,Qualitative GIS,Queer geographies,Sexual minorities,Substance use,