Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2019 Sep;126:105784.
doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2019.105784. Epub 2019 Jul 17.

Food Insecurity Transitions and Smoking Behavior Among Older Adults Who Smoke

Free PMC article

Food Insecurity Transitions and Smoking Behavior Among Older Adults Who Smoke

Rachel S Bergmans. Prev Med. .
Free PMC article


Cross-sectional data reveal that smoking cigarettes is highly prevalent among those who are food insecure. However, there is limited and conflicting evidence concerning whether causal factors may influence associations of food insecurity with smoking behavior. Additionally, temporality is a core feature of food insecurity that should be considered when examining linkages between food insecurity and health behaviors like smoking cessation. In 2019, data were extracted from waves 2012 and 2014 of the Health and Retirement Study-a representative sample of U.S. adults ≥50. Analyses were limited to those who smoked cigarettes in 2012 (n = 2197). Food insecurity was assessed in 2012 and 2014 to indicate food insecurity transitions: (1) initially food insecure (food insecure in 2012 only); (2) became food insecure (food insecure in 2014 only); (3) remained food insecure (food insecure in 2012 and 2014), and; (4) not food insecure (reference group). Multivariable logistic regression examined odds of smoking cessation in 2014 due to food insecurity transition. Becoming food insecure was associated with a 2.0 (95% confidence interval = 1.1-3.4) higher odds of smoking cessation. Employment loss or retirement (p < 0.020) and diagnosis of a new chronic condition (p = 0.026) were also associated with higher odds of smoking cessation. In older U.S. adults, smoking cessation was associated with decreased spending power and new health problems. Future studies should examine whether findings of this study may be similar among younger adults and; whether those who quit smoking due to food insecurity are more susceptible to relapse than those who quit due to other factors.

Keywords: Coping; Gerontology; Health behavior; Smoking cessation; Tobacco use.

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST STATEMENT: RSB is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH T32-MH73553). The NIMH did not have any role in study design; collection, analysis or interpretation of data; writing the report; or the decision to submit the report for publication.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources