Occasional smoking in a Minnesota working population

Am J Public Health. 1996 Sep;86(9):1260-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.86.9.1260.


Objectives: This study examined the prevalence of occasional smoking in a population of working adults, compared the characteristics of occasional and daily smokers, and prospectively examined the long-term smoking patterns of occasional smokers.

Methods: At 32 Minnesota work sites, 5681 randomly selected workers were surveyed at baseline; 5248 of these were surveyed again 2 years later. A cross-sectional sample of 5817 workers was also surveyed at follow-up.

Results: Occasional smokers constituted 18.3% of all smokers in the baseline sample and 21.5% of all smokers in the cross-sectional sample surveyed 2 years later. Baseline occasional smokers were significantly more likely than daily smokers to have quit at follow-up. Job monotony or repetitiveness was related to an increase to daily smoking at follow-up among baseline occasional smokers, and a change to a more restrictive workplace smoking policy was associated with quitting.

Conclusions: The results confirm that a substantial proportion of smokers are low-rate users and suggest that the proportion may be rising. Further research on this group is warranted.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Organizational Policy
  • Prevalence
  • Random Allocation
  • Research Design
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / trends
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Workplace