Cigarette smoking trends among U.S. working adult by industry and occupation: findings from the 2004-2012 National Health Interview Survey

Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 May;17(5):599-606. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu185. Epub 2014 Sep 19.


Objective: To examine trends in age-adjusted cigarette smoking prevalence among working adults by industry and occupation during 2004-2012, and to project those prevalences and compare them to the 2020 Healthy People objective (TU-1) to reduce cigarette smoking prevalence to ≤12%.

Methods: We analyzed the 2004-2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data. Respondents were aged ≥18 years working in the week prior to the interview. Temporal changes in cigarette smoking prevalence were assessed using logistic regression. We used the regression model to extrapolate to the period 2013-2020.

Results: Overall, an estimated 19.0% of working adults smoked cigarettes: 22.4% in 2004 to 18.1% in 2012. The largest declines were among workers in the education services (6.5%) industry and in the life, physical, and social science (9.7%) occupations. The smallest declines were among workers in the real estate and rental and leasing (0.9%) industry and the legal (0.4%) occupations. The 2020 projected smoking prevalences in 15 of 21 industry groups and 13 of the 23 occupation groups were greater than the 2020 Healthy People goal.

Conclusions: During 2004-2012, smoking prevalence declined in the majority of industry and occupation groups. The decline rate varied by industry and occupation groups. Projections suggest that certain groups may not reach the 2020 Healthy People goal. Consequently, smoking cessation, prevention, and intervention efforts may need to be revised and strengthened, particularly in specific occupational groups.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations*
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult