Blue-Collar Smokers Feel Less Pressure to Quit
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Machine operators, manual laborers and other blue-collar workers who smoke feel less pressure to quit than do their white-collar peers, according to the results of a recent US study.
``Blue-collar workers experience less support for nonsmoking in their work settings, and this lack of support may contribute to their inability to succeed with quitting smoking,'' lead study author Dr. Glorian Sorensen of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, told Reuters Health.
The findings are based on survey responses from more than 2,600 smokers from 44 companies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
In general, blue-collar workers reported experiencing less pressure to quit and less social support for quitting than did their technical/clerical or managerial/professional peers, Sorensen and her colleagues report in the January issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Blue-collar workers were also nearly 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,'' the report indicates.
``Other literature in this area tells us that blue-collar workers are less likely than white-collar (workers) 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,'' Sorensen said.
Social pressure to quit and social support for quitting were both associated with intention to quit, the authors note. For example, smokers who said that they were thinking about quitting in the next 30 days or the next 6 months were more likely to say they experienced social pressure to quit and social support for quitting.
The smokers' confidence in their ability to quit was also associated with their social pressure to quit, social support for quitting and the rewards they experienced or expected to experience after quitting, Sorensen and her team report.
In other findings, smokers who were confident in their ability to quit smoking at the start of the study were more likely to have quit smoking by the end of the study.
In light of the findings, ``it is important that workplace health promotion programs aim to build social support for quitting smoking through their policies supporting nonsmoking, through educational programs that build support for nonsmoking among co-workers and supervisors, and for other programs that provide support for quitting--particularly for blue-collar workers,'' Sorensen said.