A qualitative evidence synthesis of employees' views of workplace smoking reduction or cessation interventions

BMC Public Health. 2013 Nov 26;13:1095. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-1095.


Background: The need to reduce smoking rates is a recognised public health policy issue in many countries. The workplace offers a potential context for offering smokers' programmes and interventions to assist smoking cessation or reduction. A qualitative evidence synthesis of employees' views about such programmes might explain why some interventions appear effective and others not, and can be used to develop evidence-based interventions for this population and setting.

Methods: A qualitative evidence synthesis of primary research exploring employees' views about workplace interventions to encourage smoking cessation, including both voluntary programmes and passive interventions, such as restrictions or bans. The method used was theory-based "best fit" framework synthesis.

Results: Five relevant theories on workplace smoking cessation were identified and used as the basis for an a priori framework. A comprehensive literature search, including interrogation of eight databases, retrieved 747 unique citations for the review. Fifteen primary research studies of qualitative evidence were found to satisfy the inclusion criteria. The synthesis produced an evidence-based conceptual model explaining employees' experiences of, and preferences regarding, workplace smoking interventions.

Conclusion: The synthesis suggests that workplace interventions should employ a range of different elements if they are to prove effective in reducing smoking among employees. This is because an employee who feels ready and able to change their behaviour has different needs and preferences from an employee who is not at that stage. Only a multi-faceted intervention can satisfy the requirements of all employees.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health Services*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Smoking Cessation / methods*
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Workplace
  • Young Adult