Feds Spending $163,638 Studying 'Intersection of Food Insecurity and Smoking'

Project will interview food stamp recipients about 'food insecurity-related stress'

A man sits smoking his cigarette before a McDonald's restaurant / Getty Images
November 9, 2017

The National Institutes of Health is spending over $150,000 to study the "intersection of food insecurity and smoking."

The University of Massachusetts Amherst study began this fall and is examining whether people who are on food stamps have a tougher time quitting smoking.

"Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that food insecurity is independently associated with increased odds of smoking," according to the grant for the project. "However, proximal factors linking food insecurity and smoking are not well understood, and research has not extended this association towards informing cessation."

"Extant literature suggests that there are shared psychological (e.g., stress) and physiological (e.g., hunger) factors that may predispose food insecure smokers to encountering difficulties with quitting smoking," the grant continues. "The overall goal of this proposal is to build the candidate's research expertise on the intersection of food insecurity, smoking, and quitting."

The research will focus on poor smokers and "target a subset of the local population with food insecurity" of food stamp recipients in San Francisco.

Researchers will hold "in-depth interviews on the lived experience of food insecurity and its association with smoking behaviors and quitting" with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients.

Finally, 100 smokers "with food insecurity in the context of SNAP" will attempt a quit program.

The study began in September, and research is set to continue through August 2022. The university has received $163,638 for the project so far.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst adds that the project will focus on "food insecurity-related stress."

"The ultimate goal is to develop an outreach program connecting individuals with or at risk for food insecurity to evidence-based smoking cessation resources," the researcher said.

Published under: Food Stamps , Smokes , SNAP