Through his research, John Blosnich, M.P.H., has discovered that compared to their heterosexual peers, gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults who smoke have higher odds of contracting respiratory illnesses. Now he wants to know why those sexual minorities smoke as much as they do.

Blosnich, a Ph.D. student in the West Virginia University Department of Community Medicine, recently received a grant for more than $40,000 from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse.

In the study titled, “Disparities in Smoking and Acute Respiratory Illnesses Among Sexual Minority Young Adults,” Blosnich, fellow WVU Ph.D. student Traci Jarrett and their advisor Kimberly Horn, Ed.D., associate professor in the Department of Community Medicine, examined whether sexual minorities experience more of the diseases caused by tobacco.

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