Food Insecurity & Tobacco Cessation

Attention: Looking for residents of Cuyahoga County to participate in a health needs survey!

    • The survey asks about your current health and social needs during the pandemic. 

    • You must live in Cuyahoga County, be 18 years or older, and have visited a food pantry in the last year.

    • You can take the survey online or by phone, and it takes 30 minutes to do.

    • You will be paid for your time

If interested, please call 216-215-3016, or email

Food Security, Tobacco Cessation, and Health (FETCH)

The Food Security, Tobacco Cessation, and Health (FETCH) project is motivated by understanding the role of food insecurity—or lack of economic access to healthy and preferred food—as a key socioeconomic stressor that impacts tobacco use and cigarette smoking. Research shows that many low-income smokers are motivated to quit, but various life stressors are significant barriers to successful cessation. This is among the first to specifically focus on the intersection of food insecurity, tobacco use, and tobacco cessation, and the research is undertaken in multiple phases.

Project Goals

The overall project goals are to identify, document, and understand how the experience of food insecurity is associated with cigarette smoking behaviors and smoking cessation, both at the population level and at the community level. At the population level, we leverage large datasets to examine population-level trends and patterns in how food insecurity, smoking, and smoking cessation intersect. At the community level, we aim to better understand how the experience of food insecurity poses barriers to quitting, and to apply the findings towards testing feasible strategies to promote the use of evidence-based cessation resources among smokers experiencing food insecurity in the Greater Cleveland community.

Why is this important to our community?

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease. One of the goals of the FETCH project is to examine the feasibility of conducting smoking cessation outreach to smokers in the context of food assistance programs. Through partnering with the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland, the FETCH project aligns with the PRCHN mission in its effort to prevent and reduce the burden of tobacco-related chronic disease in the Greater Cleveland community.

Team Members & Collaborators


  • Jin Kim-Mozeleski, PhD, Principal Investigator
  • Madeline Castele, MPH Research Project Coordinator
  • Sarang Park, Graduate Research Assistant


  • Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland

Study Participants

We are soon to be recruiting research participants who are willing to share their experiences regarding food insecurity and/or tobacco use. Please check back soon for recruitment updates!


FETCH began in 2017 and is funded through 2022.


We published one of the first longitudinal studies showing that food insecurity is a risk factor for continued smoking and a barrier to stopping smoking in a national sample of smokers (Published in the journal American Journal of Health Promotion).

In 2020, we published the most comprehensive review article to date on the intersection of smoking and food insecurity (Published in in the journal Health Promotion Practice). See below for list of relevant publications to date: 

  • Kim-Mozeleski JE, Pandey R. The intersection of food insecurity and tobacco use: A scoping review. Health Promotion Practice. 2020;21(1_supp):124S-138S. (Special Supplement Issue: Tobacco and Health Equity: Interventions, Research, and Strategies to Address Tobacco Use among Diverse Populations).
  • Kim-Mozeleski JE, Pandey R, Tsoh JY. Psychological distress and cigarette smoking among US households by income: Considering the role of food insecurity. Preventive Medicine Reports. 2019;16:100983.
  • Kim-Mozeleski JE, Seligman HK, Yen IH, Shaw SJ, Buchanan DR, Tsoh JY. Changes in food insecurity and smoking status over time: Analysis of the 2003 and 2015 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2019;33(5):698-707.
  • Kim-Mozeleski JE, Tsoh JY. Food insecurity and psychological distress among former and current smokers with low income. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2019;33(2):199-207.
  • Kim-Mozeleski JE, Tsoh JY, Ramirez-Forcier J, Andrews B, Weiser SD, Carrico AW. Smoking predicts food insecurity severity among persons living with HIV. AIDS & Behavior. 2018;22(9):2861-2867.
  • Kim JE, Flentje A, Tsoh JY, Riley ED. Cigarette smoking among women who are homeless or unstably housed: Examining the role of food insecurity. Journal of Urban Health. 2017;94(4),514-524.
  • Kim JE, Tsoh JY. Cigarette smoking among socioeconomically disadvantaged young adults in association with food insecurity and other factors. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2016;13,150458.

Funding Source:

FETCH is funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse.

For more information about this project, please contact Madeline Castele.