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Feasibility of promoting smoking cessation in small worksites: An exploratory study

Deborah Hennrikus, PhD1, Lara Pratt Tiede, MPH2, Diana Hilgers, RN, PHN2, Rae Jean Madsen, RN, PHN2, and Harry Lando, PhD1. (1) Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, 1300 S 2nd St., Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454, 612-624-1818, lando@epi.umn.edu, (2) Carver County Public Health, 600 East Fourth Street, Chaska, MN 55318-2102

The workplace is recognized as an appropriate site for smoking cessation efforts but little is known about promoting cessation at smaller worksites. The present study aimed to identify strategies for promoting smoking cessation in worksites employing 10 to 100 workers. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 22 employers in small businesses in the manufacturing/labor and service sectors and eight focus groups were conducted with smokers employed in these sectors (n=59). Employers cited concern over employees' health and business reasons such as break abuse, absenteeism, decreased productivity and negative image for customers as reasons for addressing employee smoking. There were practical barriers to implementing cessation activities and they expressed reluctance to intervene on employees' personal health decisions. Both employers and smokers thought it was desirable and appropriate for employers to promote smoking cessation to people who want to quit, however. Both employers and employees were unaware of smoking cessation resources available through health plans or in the community. There were discrepancies between the worksite activities favored by employers and those endorsed as potentially useful by smokers. Smokers expressed interest in incentive programs, contests, nicotine replacement products and favored methods that would foster social support for quitting; phone counseling was considered ineffective. These results suggest that interventions should attempt to increase knowledge about available cessation resources and support for cessation among coworkers. Contests and incentives and providing free samples of nicotine replacement products might be feasible and effective methods for promoting cessation, particularly if they are administered by entities outside the worksite.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Worksite, Smoking Cessation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

HELP! Tobacco Quitlines and Cessation Services Poster Session

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA