Do social influences contribute to occupational differences in quitting smoking and attitudes toward quitting?

Am J Health Promot. 2002 Jan-Feb;16(3):135-41. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-16.3.135.


Purpose: To examine occupational differences in social influences supporting quitting smoking and their relationships to intentions and self-efficacy to quit smoking and to quitting.

Design: Data were collected as part of a large worksite cancer prevention intervention trial.

Setting: Forty-four worksites.

Subjects: Subjects included 2626 smokers from a total baseline survey sample of 11,456 employees (response rate = 63%).

Measures: Differences by job category in social support for quitting, pressure to quit smoking, rewards for quitting, and nonacceptability of smoking were measured using mixed model analysis of variance and the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test. Their association to self-efficacy, intention to quit, and quitting smoking was assessed using mixed model analysis of variance and linear logistic regression modeling.

Results: Compared with other workers, blue-collar workers reported less pressure to quit (p = .0001), social support for quitting (p = .0001), and nonacceptability of smoking among their coworkers (p < .001). Intention to quit was associated with higher levels of social pressure to quit smoking (p = .0001) and social support for quitting (p = .002). Self-efficacy was associated with social pressure to quit (p = .0001), social support for quitting (p = .004), and perceiving greater rewards for quitting (p = .0001).

Conclusions: Although these results are limited somewhat by response and attrition rates, these results suggest that differing social environments may contribute to the differences by occupational category in smoking prevalence and smoking cessation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Occupational Health*
  • Random Allocation
  • Research
  • Rhode Island
  • Self Efficacy
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Social Class
  • Social Support*
  • Workplace / psychology