Quitting tobacco is hard for everybody, but construction workers may have an even tougher time than others. Studies of American workers have shown that 37% of blue-collar men and 31% of blue-collar women smoke as compared to 21% of men and 20% of women in white-collar professions. A new study indicates that the work environment is a key factor as to why the smoking rate for white-collar workers is declining faster than for blue-collar workers. In interviews with more than 2,600 workers, researchers found:
• Blue-collar workers were 30% less likely than managerial/professional workers and 17% less likely than technical/clerical workers to agree that smoking was becoming "less and less acceptable to employees."
• Blue-collar workers experience less pressure to quit and less social support for quitting from their co-workers than do white collar workers.
• Smokers who were confident in their ability to quit smoking at the start of the study were more likely to have quit by the end of the study.
One researcher stated that, "blue-collar workers are less likely to work in an environment that bans or restricts smoking, and are also less likely to have smoking cessation programs available, particularly those that respond to their specific needs and concerns." The study's conclusion is that "blue collar workers need workplace health promotion programs that build support for nonsmoking among co-workers and supervisors, and provide support for quitting."
Source: American Journal of Health Promotion, Jan./Feb. 2002