Occupational status, work-site cessation programs and policies and menthol smoking on quitting behaviors of US smokers


Linda A. Alexander, 110C College of Public Health Building, Lexington, KY 405036-0003, USA. E-mail: lindaalex@uky.edu


Aim  This exploratory study sought to examine the relationships among occupational status, menthol smoking preference and employer-sponsored smoking cessation programs and policies on quitting behaviors.

Design  Data for this cross-sectional study were obtained from the 2006 Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS CPS), a large national survey representative of the civilian population, containing approximately 240 000 respondents. The total sample for the current study was 30 176.

Measurements  The TUS CPS regularly collects data on cigarette prevalence, quitting behaviors, smoking history and consumption patterns. We performed a logistic regression with ‘life-time quitting smoking for 1 day or longer because they were trying to quit’ as outcome variable. Independent variables included type of occupation, employer-sponsored cessation programs and policies and menthol status.

Findings  When controlling for occupational status and work-place policies, there were no differences for menthol versus non-menthol smokers on quitting behaviors [odds ratio (OR) = 0.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.83, 1.15]. Service workers were less likely to quit compared with white-collar workers (OR = 0.80; 95% CI = 0.69, 0.94), and those with no employer-sponsored cessation program were less likely to quit (OR = 0.70; 95% CI = 0.60, 0.83). White-collar workers, compared with blue-collar and service workers, were more likely to have a smoking policy in the work area (93% versus 86% versus 88%, respectively).

Conclusions  When occupational status and work-place smoking policies are controlled for, smokers of menthol cigarettes in the United States appear to have similar self-reported life-time rates of attempts to stop smoking to non-menthol smokers.