Smoking rate trends in U.S. occupational groups: the 1987 to 2004 National Health Interview Survey

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jan;49(1):75-81. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31802ec68c.


Objective: It is unknown if the gap in smoking rates observed between United States blue- and white-collar workers over the past four decades has continued into the new millennium.

Methods: The National Health Interview Survey is a nationally representative survey of the US civilian population. Smoking and current occupational status were assessed over survey periods 1987 to 1994 and 1997 to 2004 (n= 298,042).

Results: There were significant annual reductions in smoking rates for all adult US workers in both survey periods. Several blue-collar groups had greater annual smoking rate reductions in the most recent survey period relative to the earlier survey period. However, the majority of blue-collar worker groups had pooled 1997 to 2004 smoking rates in excess of the 24.5% smoking prevalence noted for all workers.

Conclusion: Development of effective smoking prevention strategies specifically targeting blue-collar groups is warranted.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / trends*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology