Purpose: To identify rates and sociodemographic correlates of food insecurity among low-income smokers.
Design: Cross-sectional analysis of baseline survey data from a randomized controlled trial (N = 403) testing a smoking cessation intervention for low-income smokers.
Setting: Two safety-net hospitals in New York City.
Sample: Current smokers with annual household income <200% of the federal poverty level.
Measures: Food insecurity was measured using the United States Department of Agriculture 6-item food security module. Participant sociodemographics were assessed by self-reported survey responses.
Analysis: We used frequencies to calculate the proportion of smokers experiencing food insecurity and multivariable logistic regression to identify factors associated with being food insecure.
Results: Fifty-eight percent of participants were food insecure, with 29% reporting very high food insecurity. Compared to married participants, separated, widowed, or divorced participants were more likely to be food insecure (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.33, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.25-4.33), as were never married participants (AOR = 2.81, 95% CI: 1.54-5.14).
Conclusions: Health promotion approaches that target multiple health risks (eg, smoking and food access) may be needed for low-income populations. Interventions which seek to alleviate food insecurity may benefit from targeting socially isolated smokers.
Keywords: food security; low-income; tobacco use.
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