If the news from California could be applied here, gays and lesbians could be sucking on more cough drops (or your personally selected tobacco replacement) under the city’s July 23 smoking ban than others.

Twelve percent of women in the general population were current smokers compare to approximately 29 percent of lesbians and nearly 27 percent of bisexual women, according  to researcher Elisabeth Gruskin, a scientist in the research division of Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

Among men, 20 percent in the general population smokes, compared to about 27 percent of gay men.

The article includes a comment from the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network, which sites a national statistic on its site.

In a recent national study on adolescent health, 45% of females and 35% of males who reported same-sex attraction or behavior smoked; compared to only 29% for the rest of the youth.

From my first-hand experience, I don’t smoke (short of the dance floor smoke machine), but most of my friends do. We’ve joked that, come July 23, there’ll be 10 people in the gay bar and 100 standing outside to smoke.

As for the reason we smoke more, I don’t know. I’ve seen some sexy guys smoking, but it’s usually everything but the cigarette in their hand that I find attractive. It may be because many of us don’t have kids, since that seems to be a strong reason that a lot of straight people stop. Anybody got other ideas?