Smoking Rate Trends in U.S. Occupational Groups: The 1987 to 2004 National Health Interview Survey

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It is unknown if the gap in smoking rates observed between United States blue- and white-collar workers over the past four decades has continued into the new millennium.


The National Health Interview Survey is a nationally representative survey of the US civilian population. Smoking and current occupational status were assessed over survey periods 1987 to 1994 and 1997 to 2004 (n= 298,042).


There were significant annual reductions in smoking rates for all adult US workers in both survey periods. Several blue-collar groups had greater annual smoking rate reductions in the most recent survey period relative to the earlier survey period. However, the majority of blue-collar worker groups had pooled 1997 to 2004 smoking rates in excess of the 24.5% smoking prevalence noted for all workers.


Development of effective smoking prevention strategies specifically targeting blue-collar groups is warranted.

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