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Full-Time Employees Used Cigarettes In Past Month

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

A new report reveals that 33.6 million full-time workers aged 18 to 64 (or 28 percent of persons in this category) reported that they smoked cigarettes in the past month based on combined 2006 to 2008 survey data.

The study, Cigarette Use among Adults Employed Full Time, by Occupational Category, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that among 22 major occupational categories, the highest rate of past month cigarette use among full-time workers in this age group was found in the food preparation and serving-related occupations (44.7 percent), followed by construction work and mining (or extraction work) at 42.9 percent. By contrast, the lowest rates were seen among those employed in the education, training and library occupations (12.3 percent), as well as the life, physical and social sciences area (15.4 percent.)

In the United States, smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and contributes to chronic illnesses of millions of individuals.

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“The study provides important insight and updated information that can be used to assist in developing or refining smoking cessation efforts for specific workplace groups,” said SAMHSA Acting Administrator, Eric Broderick, D.D.S., M.P.H. “The workplace is an ideal location for programs to educate employees about the risks of smoking and programs to promote smoking cessation to reduce risks of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.”

According to the study, unemployed people ages 18 to 64 had a higher percentage of past month cigarette use (45.4 percent) than those employed full-time, employed part-time or with other employment status. But because full-time workers constitute about two thirds of the 18 to 64 year-old population (or 118 million people), most smokers were full-time workers (61.6 percent).

Another important finding was that among full-time workers, the rate of past month cigarette use was higher among those age 18 to 25 (40.1 percent) than those in the older age ranges. Rates were 33.9 percent among workers age 26 to 34, 26.7 percent among those age 35 to 49, and 20.7 percent among those age 50 to 64.

Overall, full-time employed males (18-64) were more likely than females to have smoked cigarettes in the past month. However females in the community and social services occupations and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations had higher rates of cigarette use than males in those occupations.