BACKGROUND: Cigarette smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. It is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for adverse health outcomes and a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Smoking at work place not only affects the health of the workers who smoke but also the health of nonsmokers who inhale toxic chemicals from cigarettes, which results in secondhand smoke.
METHODS: The Industry and Occupation module data from 2013 and 2014 Mississippi Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey were used for the analysis. BRFSS is a self-reported survey which collects data on adults aged 18 years and older. Two years of BRFSS data was used to increase the sample size and hence the precision of estimation. The industry categories were grouped to create ten broad industry categories and the occupational categories were grouped to create eleven broad occupational categories. SAS (V.9.2) was used for the analysis. Prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated and Chi-square analysis was used to determine if there is a significant difference in cigarette smoking prevalence among different industry and occupational groups.
RESULTS: The prevalence of cigarette smoking was significantly higher among workers in construction industries (32.1%) and the lowest among those related to educational services (11.4%) (p<.0001). The prevalence of cigarette smoking was significantly higher among workers whose occupations were related to installation, repair and maintenance (34.2%) and lowest among those who worked in professional occupations such as teachers and social workers (12.7%) (p<.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Targeting intervention programs at workplaces which have higher prevalence could be effective in reducing prevalence of cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke.