Objective: Workplace cancer prevention initiatives have been least successful with blue-collar workers. This study assess whether an intervention integrating health promotion with occupational health and safety results in significant and meaningful increases in smoking cessation and consumption of fruits and vegetables, compared to a standard health promotion intervention, for workers overall and for blue-collar workers in particular.
Methods: A randomized controlled design was used, with 15 manufacturing worksites assigned to a health promotion (HP) or a health promotion plus occupational health and safety intervention (HP/OHS), and compared from baseline (1997) to final (1999). The response rates to the survey were 80% at baseline (n = 9019) and 65% at final (n = 7327). Both groups targeted smoking and diet; the HP/OHS condition additionally incorporated reduction of occupational exposures.
Results: Smoking quit rates among blue-collar workers in the HP/OHS condition more than doubled relative to those in the HP condition (OR = 2.13, p = 0.04), and were comparable to quit rates of white-collar workers. No statistically significant differences between groups were found for mean changes in fruits and vegetables.
Conclusions: Integration of occupational health and safety and health promotion may be an essential means of enhancing the effectiveness of worksite tobacco control initiatives with blue-collar workers.