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Work Experiences and Tobacco Use: Findings From the Gear Up for Health Study

Sorensen, Glorian PhD, MPH; Quintiliani, Lisa PhD; Pereira, Lesley MPH; Yang, May MPH; Stoddard, Anne ScD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 1 - p 87-94
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31818f69f8
Original Articles: Special Section on Climate Change and Health

Objective: To examine the relationships between the work environment and amount smoked, intention to quit, and participation in a health promotion intervention.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected from unionized truck drivers and dockworkers (N = 542; response rate = 78%) employed in eight trucking terminals as part of a larger intervention study targeting tobacco use cessation and weight management.

Results: Prevalence of tobacco use was 40% (n = 216). Multivariable analyses of amount smoked and coworker norms encouraging cessation found significant associations with intention to quit and negative social consequences of tobacco use. Program participation was significantly associated with concern about job exposures, working the day shift, and intention to quit.

Conclusions: Work experiences represented in the social contextual model may help explain how the work environment affects tobacco-use behaviors and interest in quitting, and maybe guide interventions among blue-collar workers.

From the Center for Community-Based Research, (Dr Sorensen, Dr Quintiliani, Ms Pereira), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Mass; Department of Society, Human Development and Health (Dr Sorensen, Dr Quintiliani), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass; and New England Research Institutes (Ms Yang, Dr Stoddard), Watertown, Mass.

Address correspondence to: Glorian Sorensen, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine