Occupational correlates of smoking among urban transit operators: A prospective study

Prevention Research Center, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, 1995 University Avenue, Suite 450, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA.
Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy (Impact Factor: 1.16). 02/2007; 2(1):36. DOI: 10.1186/1747-597X-2-36
Source: PubMed


Workers in blue-collar and service occupations smoke at higher rates than workers in white-collar and professional occupations. Occupational stress may explain some of the occupational class differences in smoking and quitting behavior. The purpose of this study is to investigate the contribution of occupational factors to smoking behavior over a ten year period among a multiethnic cohort of urban transit operators, while accounting for demographic factors and alcohol.
The sample consists of 654 San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI) transit operators who participated in two occupational health studies and biennial medical examinations during 1983-85 and 1993-95. Workers who had initiated, increased, or maintained their smoking over the ten year period were compared to workers who remained non-smokers. Occupational factors included self-rated frequency of job problems (e.g., difficulties with equipment, passengers, traffic), job burnout (i.e., the emotional exhaustion subscale of the Maslach Burnout Inventory), time needed to unwind after work, and years employed as a transit operator. A series of logistic regression models were developed to estimate the contribution of occupational factors to smoking behavior over time.
Approximately 35% of the workers increased, initiated, or maintained their smoking over the ten-year period. Frequency of job problems was significantly associated with likelihood of smoking increase, initiation, or maintenance (OR = 1.30; 95% CI 1.09, 1.55). Black operators were significantly more likely to have smoked over the ten-year period compared to operators in other racial/ethnic groups.
Understanding the role of work-related stress vis-à-vis smoking behavior is of critical importance for crafting workplace smoking prevention and cessation interventions that are applicable to blue-collar work settings, and for developing policies that mitigate occupational stress.

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    • "Job satisfaction and burnout have been studied in several industrial countries, but remain poorly researched in the Arab culture and the majority of the work remains unpublished [1] [19]. The most widely adopted tool measuring the burnout syndrome is the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) [7] [8] [16] [20] [21]. It has been translated into several languages. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Burnout is a mental condition de-fined as a result of continuous and long-term stress exposure, particularly related to psycho-social factors at work. This paper aims to ex-amine the psychometric properties of the Maslach Burnout Questionnaire (MBI-HSS) for validation of use in Lebanon, and to describe burnout and associated factors amongst nurses in Lebanon especially the gender and employ-ment sector. Methods: The psychometric prop-erties of the Arabic version of MBI-HSS were studied amongst a sample of 200 nurses. In this descriptive study, survey data were collected from private and public hospitals. The data were analyzed by means of descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis. Results: The results indi-cated satisfactory reliability through internal consistency for all three scales of the MBI-HSS. The factor analysis was quite satisfactory. Most of staff had scores which indicated they were burnt out. Nearly three quarters (77.5%) reported emotional exhaustion, 36.0% reported deper-sonalization while almost one third (33.0%) ex-perienced reduced personal accomplishment. Burnout increases for 30 -39 years age groups. Married nurses had significantly higher emo-tional exhaustion. Depersonalization was high-est among nurses in private sector, and per-sonal accomplishment was highest among nurses in public sector. Depersonalization prov-ed to be higher in night and rotating shift nurses. Depression, backache, and headache were pre-dictors of burnout. Conclusion: Findings indi-cate that the main psychometric properties of reliability and validity of the Arabic version of MBI-HSS appear to be satisfactory. Burnout is particularly prominent and severe in the nurses working population. The implications of these findings for interventions that reduce burnout and promote nursing mental health are therefore in the interest of employers, governments and policy makers.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Health
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    • "Previous reports among the general U.S. population have shown that workers in blue collar occupations (e.g., construction workers, motor vehicle operators) have the greatest number of smokers while white collar occupations (e.g., teachers, engineers) have the lowest [Bang and Kim, 2001; Benowitz, 1997; Howard, 2004; Nelson et al., 1994]. High rates of smoking among blue collar workers may be attributable to characteristics associated with blue collar industries, such as stressful working conditions and job demands [Conway et al., 1981; Cunradi et al., 2007; Kouvonen et al., 2005; Schilling et al., 1985; Siapush and Carlin, 2006; Sorensen et al., 2004], less restrictive or enforced workplace antismoking policies [Brownson et al., 2002], less pressure and social support to quit smoking [Sorensen et al., 2002], stressors associated with socioeconomic environments [Sorensen et al., 2004; Graham et al., 2006], and targeted marketing of tobacco products [Davis, 1987; United States Department of Health and Human Services, 1989]. Previous studies of smoking among working populations, however, do not typically control for sociodemographic factors important among immigrant and minority groups, such as nativity, length of stay in the U.S., and region of residence, as well as age and gender. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Smoking among the Asian American workforce has not been extensively researched. This study examines smoking prevalence among a nationally representative sample of Asian Americans with an emphasis on occupational classification.Methods Cross-sectional data come from the National Latino and Asian American Study. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine smoking prevalence by occupation, gender, and nativity, among 1,528 participants self-identifying as in the labor force.ResultsBlue collar workers reported the highest smoking prevalence (32%) followed by unemployed (19%), other (17%), service (14%), and white collar (10%). Among both employed males and females, blue collar workers had the highest prevalence (45% and 18%, respectively). By nativity, smoking was highest among blue collar workers for immigrants (25%) and highest among the unemployed for U.S. born (16%). Blue collar employment was significantly associated with being a current smoker (OR = 2.52; 95% CI: 1.23–5.16; P < 0.05) controlling for demographics (e.g., age, gender, ethnic group, nativity, etc.).Conclusions Findings reveal that smoking differs by occupation among Asian Americans. Future research should examine factors explaining differences while considering gender and nativity. Am. J. Ind. Med. 53:171–178 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2010 · American Journal of Industrial Medicine
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    • "Second, acting indirectly via unhealthy behaviors (e.g., smoking, alcohol consumption), which may be used either deliberately or inadvertently as a coping mechanism to deal with stress [13]; almost all smokers attribute their smoking at least partly to its alleged calming and relaxing properties [14]. In order to trace such intermediate mechanisms for highly prevalent diseases, such as blood pressure [15], coronary heart disease [16], and lung cancer [7], some studies have focused on the association of job strain with their major risk factor, smoking [17,18]. "
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    ABSTRACT: To characterize the smoking patterns of hospitality employees in blue-collar and service occupations, and to examine its relations with psychosocial work conditions. The Shenyang Hospitality Industry Employees Survey-a face-to-face cross-sectional study of representative hospitality industry employees-was conducted between March and July 2008. A total of 4,213 workers were selected using stratified random cluster sampling designs, and final analyses were performed on 2,508 blue-collar and service subjects. Multilevel-logistic regression models were used to estimate the contribution of psychosocial work conditions to smoking status. Blue-collar and service employees smoked at a rate 1.4 times that of the general population (49.4% vs. 35.8%), more particularly for females (12.9% vs. 3.08%). Strain jobs had significantly higher odds ratio of daily smoking (OR 2.09, 95%CI: 1.28-3.41) compared to the relaxed category. The passive jobs (OR 2.01, 95%CI 1.27 to 3.17), highest job demands (OR 1.72, 95%CI: 1.13-2.61), and lowest job control (OR 2.56, 95%CI: 1.57-4.16) were also associated with a significantly higher daily smoking ratio. The negative relationship between job stability and smoking behavior was slightly stronger among daily than occasional smokers. However, neither job strain nor any of its components was found to be significantly associated with occasional smoking. Smoking in hospitality blue-collar and service employees is certainly a major occupational health problem in Shenyang. This evidence also suggests an association between psychosocial-work conditions and smoking status, and implies that more intervention studies where changes in work environment are carried out in combination with health promotion interventions should be performed.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · BMC Public Health
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