Smoking and Unemployment: A Photo Elicitation Project. Tobacco use insights Michalek, A. K., Wong, S. L., Brown-Johnson, C. G., Prochaska, J. J. 2020; 13: 1179173X20921446


Research has documented higher smoking prevalence with unemployment and greater difficulty with gaining re-employment for those who smoke. Using photo elicitation methods, we sought to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between job-seeking and tobacco use.Unemployed daily smokers (18 men, 1 woman) were recruited from the San Francisco Employment Development Department (EDD) and provided disposable cameras with 27 exposures and a list of 20 photo prompts related to job-seeking and tobacco. Study staff reviewed the photos with the participants and audio-recorded their narratives. The photos and narratives were coded for themes.Of 363 photos, the most frequent photo imagery related to transportation (n?=?56, 15.4%), work or education (n?=?39, 10.7%), and littered cigarettes (n?=?39, 10.7%). Narrated themes centered on motivators to quit smoking (255 mentions from 15 participants); people, places, and things associated with smoking (248 mentions, 16 participants); and motivators to secure work (157 mentions, 13 participants). The intersection of smoking and unemployment received 92 mentions from 11 participants, with 60 mentions (8 participants) identifying smoking as a barrier to re-employment.Both motivators to quit and associated smoking cues were salient in the environments of job-seeking smokers. Struggles with quitting and perceptions that smoking is harming re-employment success suggest the potential for offering tobacco treatment in EDD settings. With permission, the photos and themes have been incorporated into a tobacco treatment intervention for job-seeking smokers.

View details for DOI 10.1177/1179173X20921446

View details for PubMedID 32669882

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7338730