Tobacco roads: an exploration of the meaning and situatedness of smoking among homeless adult males in Winnipeg

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Bobowski, Michelle
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Homeless individuals are some of the most marginalized Canadians and most likely to use tobacco daily. The transient nature of homeless smokers contributes to marginalization within health care as well as tobacco control strategies. The purpose of this study was to describe acquisition and smoking behaviors of homeless individuals as a first step in developing essential research evidence to inform tobacco control strategies relevant to this vulnerable population. This ethnographic study investigated the everyday reality of 15 male homeless individuals living in the Salvation Army Shelter in Winnipeg. Tobacco use was explored against their environmental and social contexts, homeless smokers used an informal street-based economy for acquisition, and smoking behaviors were high risk for infectious diseases with sharing and smoking discarded cigarettes. Tobacco control strategies that consider homeless individuals have the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality along with diminishing inequitable health burdens with this population.
Homelessness, Tobacco, Smoking