Incorporating Intersectionality as a Framework for Equity-Minded Tobacco Control Research: A Call for Collective Action Toward a Paradigm Shift

Andy S.L. Tan, Josephine T. Hinds, Philip H. Smith, Tamar Antin, Juliet P. Lee, Jamie S. Ostroff, Christi Patten, Shyanika W. Rose, Christine E. Sheffer, Pebbles Fagan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: To eliminate tobacco-related disparities, tobacco control research would benefit from a paradigm shift. Intersectionality, a framework pioneered by Kimberlé Crenshaw in late 1980s, has the potential to improve our understanding of why and how certain social groups are disproportionately harmed by commercial tobacco use, and improve our ability to address persistent tobacco-related health disparities. AIMS AND METHODS: In this commentary, we outline the rationale and recommendations for incorporating intersectionality into equity-minded tobacco control research. These recommendations arose from intersectionality webinars organized by the Health Disparities (now Health Equity) Network of the Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) in 2019 and 2020. RESULTS: Specifically, we propose that eliminating tobacco-related disparities through intersectionality-informed research requires a multilevel, multipronged approach. We summarize priority actions for the tobacco control research field to achieve health equity through the intersectionality framework including acknowledging that structural factors, racism and power dynamics shape lived experiences, integrating critical theoretical frameworks and intersectionality scholarship into research questions, and embracing collaborative community-based approaches at every level of the research process. CONCLUSIONS: Through these actions, our field can take concrete steps to fundamentally improve our approach to conducting research to achieve health equity. IMPLICATIONS: Intersectionality is a valuable tool to align our field with our pursuit of health equity. The recommendations aim to improve methods of equity-focused tobacco control, prompt ongoing dialogue on the utility of this tool, and shift paradigms in how the research process is conducted at every level among stakeholders, including researchers, journal editors and reviewers, funders, practitioners, and policy makers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalNicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: [email protected].

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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