Smoking prevalence in young workers by occupation: Where targeted workplace tobacco control activities are most needed
There are approximately 17.5 million US young workers, and these workers represented 13% of the workforce. Young adulthood (18 - 24 years) represents a critical time in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Approximately 80% of adult smokers initiate smoking at this age. Young adults have the highest smoking rate of any age group in the US. Few studies, however, have examined the burden of smoking in relation to occupation among young workers.
To determine the prevalence of cigarette smoking in young workers aged 18-24 years (n= 11,279; representing an estimated 16,909,733 US young workers annually) by occupation, we used pooled data from the 2004-2010 National Health Interview Survey. Workers were grouped into nine occupational categories based on the US Census regroupings of the Occupational codes (officials and managers, professionals, technicians, sales workers, administrative, support workers, craft workers, operatives, service workers). Data were weighted to account for the complex survey design.
Overall, smoking prevalence among young workers was 24.08% (27.89% in males; 20.03% in females). Craft workers had the highest prevalence of current smoking (36.4%; 95% CI 32.2-40.74), while professionals had the lowest (12.3%; 10.29-14.54). Those with less than a high school education had the highest overall smoking prevalence (34.8%; 31.4-38.4), while Hispanics had the lowest (16.0%; 14.2-18.0).
Smoking prevalence among young US workers varies across occupational groups. Occupation may play a key role in encouraging smoking behavior and should be considered when prioritizing groups that need to be targeted with smoking prevention and cessation programs.
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research
Describe smoking prevalence among US young adults aged (18- 24 years old). Identify occupations with high smoking prevalence among young workers. Discuss methods to increase smoking awareness among young workers, especially, craft workers.
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Iâm a tobacco control researcher with long standing experience in conducting smoking cessation trials. I served as project director on multiple smoking cessation interventions in the US and abroad and published papers on the topic of fielding in smoking cessation interventions in diverse settings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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