Introduction: This longitudinal study examined the association between trajectories of cigarette smoking and unemployment across a 29-year time period from mean age 14 to mean age 43. Methods: Participants came from a community-based random sample of residents in 2 upstate New York counties. Data were collected at 7 timepoints. Results: Using growth mixture modeling, 5 trajectory groups of cigarette smokers were identified. The trajectory groups were as follows: heavy/continuous smokers, occasional smokers, late-starting smokers, quitters/decreasers, and nonsmokers. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to study the relationship between the participant's trajectory group membership and unemployment in the fifth decade of life. The association was determined with controls for age, gender, current cigarette use, current alcohol use, current marijuana use, physical diseases, occupation, educational level, past unemployment experience, socioeconomic status measures of family of origin, depressive mood, and self-control from adolescence through the early 40s. The findings indicate that patterns of adolescent and young adult cigarette smoking have implications for later unemployment. Overall, the results showed that people who fell into the categories of heavy/continuous smokers (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.84) and occasional smokers (AOR = 4.03) were more likely to be unemployed at mean age 43 when compared with nonsmokers. There was no significant difference between the quitters/decreasers and the nonsmokers with respect to unemployment. Conclusions: Intervention programs designed to deal with unemployment should consider focusing on heavy/continuous and occasional cigarette smokers as risk factors for unemployment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health