Current Cigarette Smoking Among Workers in Accommodation and Food Services—United States, 2011-2013

Girija Syamlal, Ahmed Jamal, Jacek M Mazurek
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2015 July 31, 64 (29): 797-801
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. One of the Healthy People 2020 objectives calls for reducing the proportion of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes to ≤12% (objective TU-1.1). Despite progress in reducing smoking prevalence over the past several decades, nearly one in five U.S. adults, including millions of workers, still smoke cigarettes. During 2004-2010, nearly one fifth (19.6%) of U.S. working adults aged ≥18 years smoked cigarettes, and of all the industry sectors, current smoking prevalence among the accommodation and food services sector workers (30%) was the highest. CDC analyzed National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data for 2011-2013 to estimate current cigarette smoking prevalence among adults working in the accommodation and food services sector, and found that these workers had higher cigarette smoking prevalence (25.9%) than all other workers (17.3%). Among workers in accommodation and food services sector, the highest smoking prevalences were observed among males, non-Hispanic whites, those aged 25-44 years, those with a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate and no college education, those with an annual family income <$35,000, those with no health insurance, and those working in the food services and drinking places industry. These results indicate a need to better understand the reasons for higher smoking prevalence observed among accommodation and food services workers (e.g., workplace culture), so that appropriate intervention strategies can be developed and implemented. Evidence suggests that smoke-free worksites and workplace cessation programs, including comprehensive worksite smoke-free policies, health promotion, access to smoking cessation programs, and increasing the cost of tobacco products, can substantially reduce smoking among workers.

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