WebMD Medical News
Laura J. Martin, MD
Sept. 29, 2011 -- Education, occupation, and socioeconomic status are major factors affecting cigarette smoking rates among working adults, according to a new CDC report.
The CDC reports that the smoking rate of working adults is 19.6%, but that number jumps to 28.4% for those with less than a high school education, and to 28.6% for those who have no health insurance.
These rates are higher than Healthy People 2010 goals to reduce cigarette smoking rates among adults to 12% or less.
Also, the smoking rate for working adults who live under the federal poverty level is 27.7%.
Age also is a factor, with 23.8% of working adults aged 18 to 24 counted among the nation’s smokers.
Researchers say “substantial differences” in smoking rates were detected in data for various industry and occupational groups, with blue collar workers being far more likely to be smokers than those in white collar ranks.
Smoking rates by industry for working adults ranged from 9.7% in education services to 30% in mining.
The researchers say that though progress has been made in reducing smoking rates among working adults, employers should take more steps to encourage employees not to smoke.
CDC researchers analyzed seven years of data from the National Health Interview Survey, collected between 2004-2010. The report estimates that 223 million adults were age 18 or older and that 63.3% were employed during the week before the interview.
Among the key findings:
Smoking in the workplace not only affects the smoker’s health, but also co-workers exposed to secondhand smoke.
The agency calls on employers to work with state and local health departments to reduce smoking rates among all workers. Recommended workplace interventions include:
The research is published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Sept. 30, 2011.
SOURCES:News release, CDC.Joseph Smith, CDC.Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Sept. 30, 2011.
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