PurposeTo examine whether food insecurity longitudinally affects smoking status.
DesignPopulation-based prospective study.
SettingData from the 2003 and 2015 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID).
ParticipantsFour thousand five hundred sixty-three adults who were smokers and nonsmokers, participating in the 2003 (current study baseline) and 2015 (current study follow-up) waves of PSID.
MeasuresBased on self-reported smoking status at baseline and follow-up, respondents were categorized as continued smoking, stopped smoking, started smoking, and continued nonsmoking. Similarly, respondents were categorized as stayed food secure, stayed food insecure, became food insecure, and became food secure based on responses to the Food Security Survey at baseline and follow-up.
AnalysisTwo logistic regression analyses to examine (1) among smokers at baseline the odds of stopping versus continuing smoking by follow-up and (2) among nonsmokers at baseline the odds of starting versus continuing nonsmoking by follow-up. In both models, change in food insecurity status was the primary independent variable, controlling for demographics including poverty.
ResultsAmong smokers at baseline, becoming food insecure (vs staying food secure) was independently associated with lower likelihood of stopping smoking by follow-up (odds ratio [OR] = 0.66). Among nonsmokers at baseline, becoming food insecure (vs staying food secure) was independently associated with higher likelihood of starting smoking by follow-up (OR = 3.77).
ConclusionsFood insecurity is a risk factor for smoking, which has significant implications for developing interventions to reduce smoking prevalence, especially among low-income groups.